Saturday, March 29, 2008

On becoming a salamander...

I set a goal for myself each year.
Not really a “resolution”—as I understand the annual promises we make to ourselves to involve changes in our behavior—things to which we can consciously direct our minds, and realistically hope to accomplish with sustained effort. Promises whose success or failure rest with ourselves alone.

My goals represent the dreams I’d like to realize.
Many times, larger than I.
And often, beyond my control.
Still, I dream.

This year-- to witness the migration of the spotted salamanders to a vernal pool.
To be there, watching, on the one night that nature summons them from their underground burrows to walk the ancestral trail.
And to see, at last, what I’ve only read about in books.

I studied. And read.
And studied some more.
Until my human mind understood salamanders.
Until I, too, could hear nature calling on that dark rainy night, to walk.
Like the spotted ones.

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Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yipeee... I am so happy that you got to see the migration of the salamanders. It must have been the boots.

I too feel blessed by just seeing all the amazing photos of your journey. I am so grateful that you share them here.

MojoMan said...

Yeah, yeah, you and everybody else with their New Years promises: Lose weight, quit smoking, go to the gym, watch the salamanders.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Well done
I have enjoyed your posts about your Vernal Pond.. and I even learned a few new words and meanings. I saw things I had never seen before and felt the excitement you put in your posts. My trips to this pond were done sat here at home in my dry warm chair... you put up with the cold wind and wet wet weather.. and you still shared with others what you felt and saw. Your writing held me and I was always left wanting to read more. Whatever you do in your life at sometime please write.. even if it is just a little book put away for future generations.. you have a way with words.

Tom :O)

cestoady said...

A mini-masterpiece. Love those salamander boots.

Jennifer said...

Oh my god... I NEED those boots. Hee hee.

mon@rch said...

Love those amazing boots! Great job with this!

Mary said...

LOL! Boy, did this post take a twist! You had me, Nina :o)

Love the salamander booties. Really, I do.

Cathy said...

Those boots were made for salamandering and thats just what they did . . .

Congratulations on a dream realized.

Seabrooke said...

Great boots! Where did you find them? Mine are just plain green - when I was looking to buy some I tried and tried to find interesting boots, but the only ones I could find only came in kids sizes.

Texas Travelers said...

Powerful poetic post. I don't think my English teacher would like me to say that. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

Mel said...

Love your posts, I'm glad you acomplished the salamanders goal :)
I'm sure there will be many more exciting new things for you to discover and share with us!

me and my camera said...

I can't recall ever having seen a salamander but your postings have influenced me to try to find some this coming season. I shall have to do some reading and research on tips of where to look and how to find, sounds like an interesting project.

nina said...

Lisa--I'm still seeing a few every night (in the pool). I hope that means this spring will mean even more happenings to watch! I can only imagine how my feet look to them!

Mojoman--yep--it's that drummer--I know you hear him, too! LOL

Tom--I'm glad that you enjoy these. Somehow waiting and watching in the wet and cold has made the reward of sightings even more intense--like cultivating an appetite for a favorite meal. And I think even I will relive and recall much of this by reading it later on--getting the feeling captured in writing preserves it.

Cestoady--They sure make schlomping thru mud much more fun!

Jennifer--you sure do! Especially for your children's programs--what's not to love about nature if you can wear fun boots, too!

Monarch--I'm easy to spot in a crowd! Any salamanders moving there yet?

Mary--get a pair? They look good with Koi, too!

Cathy--Yes, I've definitely gotten INTO the spirit.

Seabrooke--They're LLBean Wellies--lucky for me, the year I need new boots is the year of their birth as a fashion element!
(why should kids have all the fun?!)

Texas travelers--Thanks--glad you enjoy!

Mel--I'm hoping for the next generation--won't they be cute!!

me and my camera--I think the more you read and prepare, the more likely the result you desire--but, don't discount the random/luck factor. I feel especially happy that the salamanders were cooperative.

Marvin said...

You've certainly heightened my in salamanders. Recently, I have observed them in our pond. While a stock pond bulldozed with Conservation District funds (by the previous owner)doesn't have the mystique of a vernal pool, it does have salamanders. Now I need to do the research and find out more about salamander life cycles and habits in my area. I don't know if I can deal with the official salamandering boots, though. :-)

Dave Coulter said...

Awesome boots! You should be proud to know that your posts have increased my "vernal pool awareness" quite a bit. I notice them now on hikes, and will keep an eye on them.

nina said...

Marvin--I'm glad you're finding them there, too.
Spotted Boots, optional, but highly recommended!!

Dave--That's great--awareness is exactly what I'd hoped for by sharing my adventures!!
Half the battle in seeing something is knowing where to direct your eyes!! What a treat is waiting for those who take the time!

Anonymous said...

I had no doubts. You are a keen observer of that pool of yours and the creatures that inhabit it. By the way I love those boots! Mine are very boring compared to yours!


Island Rambles Blog said...

I am just here to say...I sure like your writing can write on anything and I am just we all are...please keep these beautiful poems and thoughts coming...
(i like the boots also)!!

Q said...

Dear Nina,
Congratulations on seeing the Salamanders. Wow! How very fun!
I have a little pond I have adopted. I have not seen any salamanders yet! She has been very polluted. I have been doing clean up. I am excited some wild life have returned to her, mallards and turtles.
I have some yellow rain boots from LLBean. Will need to get some spotted Wellies.
Thank you for sharing your pond!
Happy April,

Crayons said...

Hi Nina,
I've been away from blogging for a while. How nice to be back on your blog! You are such an amazing woman, at least from what I can see here on Nature Remains. The poem/photo piece is lovely and restful. I love your love of all things in nature.