WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Myth's

Legend has it , from centuries gone by that Salamanders are related to fire!  This connection maybe comes from many Salamanders dwelling in rotting logs .. lending to the belief that Salamanders were created from   fire !  It is this belief that gave the creature its name.
Salamander rising from the fire


MY FIRST TON OF WOOD ARRIVED YESTERDAY.. COULD IT BE!
Last night , watching the late night news and having my last cup of tea before bed. I noticed something slithering on my front patio at Rose Cottage..  I keep the outside lights on, so I could see it was moving.  I thought to myself. Maybe its a mouse or something.  I went out to see what it was and I got the fright of my life.
It was a Salamander.  I ran inside got my camera and took these shots of it.  I hope that you can make him out.
This is the second Salamander I have seen in my life.   They fascinate me, yet at the same time I am frightened of them.  I always remember the "myth" that they rise from the fire.  It gave me the shivers.

                         As I clicked the camera to take the photo..he slid slowly along the flags towards the stones.
A Salamander has lizard-like appearance with very slender body.
short noses and long tails.  Most Salamanders have 4 toes on their front legs and 5 toes on their rear legs.  They live near water , their skin is moist.   They are fascinating.  It head turned slowly to look at me its eyes had lit up with the flash of the camera.    Its deep black body with the bright yellow spots standing still as though it was playing dead.  They move slowly.  At one point, I thought it was going to turn back and come closer to me.  I sure was ready to run inside.

Some Salamander species take to the water intermittently, and some are entirely terrestial as adults.
Unique amongs vertebrates, they are capable of regenerating lost limbs as well as other body parts. Many members of the "Salamandridae" are know as " Newts".
I am sure that most have you have seen many of them before.!   This as i said, is my second one. Other than on national geographic.

 Fossils have been found in China and Kazakhstan dating back to the middle Jurassic period up to 164 million years ago.  Wow!   Here he has already slithered his way onto the stones. You can just make him out.
                             He started moving here, and I thought i might get a better shot. I was nervous.
  This one I think is a Marbled Salamander (Amystoma opacum)  most info courtesy of wikipedia.
  A mole salamander of the Ambystomatidae family.
There are ten families belonging to the order Caudata.   In recent years , there has been a decline in living amphibian species..   They are also poisonous.  


Marbled salamander.. Mole Salamander of the Ambystomatidae family (wikipedia)
   Aristotle , Leonardo da Vinci.   "The Talmud" . J.K Rowling amongst others wrote about The Salamander with fire in their writings.

                            This morning I walked around the garden to see what damage last nights heavy storm had done.   I was pleased.  Not too much, other than some bushes heavily laden with rain the pool full of leaves and  "This".. the first time I have seen a lizard at the bottom of my pool.   I tried to get him out..but he keeps swimming away..
                             I think this little frog, came to visit Freddy!.. He was trying to get out of the pool and I scooped him up and put him onto the open grassy area.  I often get frogs in the pool.. but not lizards.!


         It started to rain around Midnight.. and stopped at around 8 this morning.  Most of the garden gravel is under water.. but that should soak away soon.  
The Salamander , Lizard and frog.. all love this weather.

I hope the weather is not too bad where you all are.  When we ask for rain, this is what we get, but we sure needed it.

wishing all my blogging friends who visit me a happy Sunday.
                                 Val 

36 comments:

  1. Looks like you had fun with your visitor, Val. ;) We definitely see quite a few amphibians in our tropical climate of Florida, especially when it rains.
    Thanks for sharing. I hope to have fresh pics for next week's Green Day. Love Fiona and her guests.
    Have a nice Sunday.
    XOXO's,
    Marcia

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    1. The visitor was fascinating but eerie.. I grew up with monitor lizzards and Iguanas and all sorts of lizards in S.A.. but the Salamander is creepy.
      You sure have some strange creatures down your way too.
      happy sunday to you too Marcia.

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  2. And a happy Sunday to you Val. Great story. I used to keep lizzards as pets and would hide them in a can under my bed because my Mother didn't like them.
    By the way, I love your picture of your 300-year-old olive tree. Does it still produce?

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    1. Oh no Gina..
      I grew up with Iguanas and monitor lizzards in and around my area.. i never liked them.. they stare at us.
      Thanks for passing by gina.. always great to get your comments.
      the tree is relatively young.. but it gives some olives ..

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  3. Hello Val:
    We have never seen a Salamander, so your images were fascinating for us. We have always thought them to be quite mystical and exotic creatures and the one you photograph here certainly has those qualities.

    We too are not very brave when faced with lizard like creatures, perhaps it is their movements which give us the shivers. However, we are pleased that you were close enough to capture the Salamander for our delight today! Happy Sunday!!

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    1. I too always thought the Salamander mystical.. I couldn't believe it when i saw it. I was nervous..how silly.. but they are strange .
      I was happy to get the photo
      thank you Jande and Lance

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  4. Dear Val - that was a brave thing to do especially when you were feeling so frightened of what you might find. He really is rather a handsome specimen with his shiny black body and yellow spots.
    I once found a newt in my downstairs cloakroom. My grandson was staying and I thought he was playing a trick on me with one of those rubber ones. I went to pick it up and got a shock when it ran. I do not know how it got inside the house, but I was then able to trick my grandson, who also thought it was a pretend one. He thought it was absolutely wonderful and carefully carried outside for me.
    It looks as if you have now received the rain that you were hoping for, the land must be much less parched now.

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    1. It reads as though I have never seen a lizard or frog. Truth is.. I grew up with Iguanas and monitor lizards living close to the house..we would pass them often crossing the roads in Africa.. I even used to hold chamelions.. but somehow this black and yellow spotted nute scares me. Its eerie.
      Oh my gosh.. I would die, if it was in my house. They do make these animals in rubber today and they look so real. Clever little grandson.
      Yes, its been non stop rain now on and off all week. last night the heavens really opened.. the sky is overcast and I am sure there will be more to come.
      Thank you Rosemary.. for always leaving such nice comments..
      Its a big boost, when we realize that people are reading our posts. and an even bigger boost when they reply.. as we do.
      happy sunday
      val

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  5. Dear Jane and Lance.
    I am so pleased that you liked to see my mystical Salamander. Just like you, I dont like lizards or frogs they are really creepy.. I was happy however to photo this one in the evening.. its the second i have seen.
    Wishing you both a happy sunday
    val

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  6. i think the salamanders are so cool! :)

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    1. They are veery interesting to look at..
      Thank you Terese

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  7. So much wonderful rain Val, your garden will love it. Then please send it over here to us! The lizard must have seen my blog with our lizards in the pool, and decided to copy :) I did not know what a salamander was so thank you for all the info. It does look a bit on the creepy side. Another great post, thankyou. Enjoy your week. P xx

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    1. The rain is so welcome Patricia.
      I didnt see your post about lizard in your pool..will look for it.. I have never had a lizard in the pool.. just frogs and once a snake.
      I dont like them.. but the salamander comes so very very rare.

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  8. My Dear Val
    I cam imagine your fright ! You were very brave that you took the camera ...You did't thought if he went inside your home while you was taking your camera ? The photos are great !

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    1. I sure did get a fright when i saw it move. I watched him go onto the soil near the roses ..so he didnt come into the house.. i would have died.. x

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  9. Val, when we used to go down to Florida, we would see them everywhere on the screen porches...climbing the sides, the ceiling...and they are fascinating to watch! In Virginia we used to get a different variety but here in CT, I haven't seen any other than NEAR THE WOOD PILES!...:)JP

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    1. I can imagine that you would have much more Salamanders down in florida.. I know they are around ..but they need water . I would not like to see them in the house
      Yes.. i think thats how it came here..when the woodman brought the wood.. scary.

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  10. You did a great job capturing that salamander Val! Suzy x

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    1. Thank you Suzy.. I was testing also my new camera.x

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  11. I have lizards, but my cat keeps them away. Don't care much for crawlly things. Have a great day,Val.

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    1. Lizzards live mostly everywhere I think.. but the Salamander is different.
      Its eerie and has strange eyes.. its harmless but i dont like them.
      thanks for passing by and leaving your comments Sylvia..

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  12. You wouldn't have got me out there! Spiders and mice I can cope with but lizards or newts I can't. I think it has something to do with my Grandad - when I was small' to prevent me from going to see the small pond by the side of the road outside his house, he used to tell me that a strange creature lived there and had a nasty bite. I once disobeyed and went and had a look. I saw a lizard / newt and ran for dear life!
    June

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    1. It was fascinating to watch this Salamander.. I probably wont see one again for years.
      Must say your grandad did a good job.. at least it kept you away from the water. You could have fallen in.
      thanks June..nice comment.

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  13. Salamander look a bit like creatures from another planet or indeed from another era.
    At my grandmothers hut by the sea we could sometimes see them walking on the ceiling. They were small and transparent somehow. It was good luck to have them in the house for some reason.
    Fascinating creatures

    I hope you'll have a wonderful week dear Val :)

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    1. There must be something in the Myth in Greece.. as here as well in Portugal ..the little clear white newts bring luck and we dont kill them. I dont like them.. they stick to the ceiling..
      The portuguese call them Osgas. I had a baby one in the house this morning, the mother must be somewhere.!
      thank you for passing by Demie,, always so nice to hear from you.
      happy Monday

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  14. I don't believe that I have ever seen a Salamander, was the verity you saw at your cottage poisonous? I would be afraid too . . . but then I've been known to faint once when I saw a snake in the wild. I got within ten feet of a 14 foot alligator in the wild, but let a garden snake crawl past my foot and the blood rushes from my head. It's a mystery.
    Have a great day,
    Your blogging sister, Connie.

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    1. Hi Connie,
      well like I said..this is only the 2nd one i have seen. When i read up about this salamander,it said it was poisonous.
      After living half my life in Africa.. I have seen just about everything.. but those creepy things i dont like.. but its a fascinating looking little specimen.
      thank you connie.
      best of luck with your voting

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  15. Val,
    I never knew the legend of the Salamander. Lizards have always been creepy to me. Sometimes, I will see them in my back yard, and yes, they frighten me too. Jess has a pet lizard who's name is Miles, and she just loves him. As for me, I try to stay away far away from them haha. Have a wonderful week.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

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    1. Oh my gosh.. A lizard in the house.. !!!
      I get lots of lizzards, but not salamanders.. it was eerie.. but its only the second i have ever seen.
      thank you Sherie..

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  16. Thanks for sharing all your critters with us! I had a snake in my garden all summer!

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    1. nice to see you my side Carol.. I just dont like creepy things close to the house..my dogs keep them away.

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  17. Interesting blog post. Great capture of the Salamander.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week.
    Greetings!
    Heidi

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  18. Thank you Heidi,
    I was pleased with my shots of the salamander it was a night shot.
    have a good week too.

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  19. So interesting and great that you got to get some photos to share with us.

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  20. How exciting to see a salamander - they are creatures of legend. I'm pretty sure that we don't have them in the UK although we have various kinds of lizards and newts.

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