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The Pine Ridge Association at Henry W. Coe State Park

Newts

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' Tis the Season

by Marlene Testaguzza

calnewtOut of their burrows they come, when the first rains begin.  It's breeding time, time to be on the march, after months of dormancy.

On this day, I watched one determined California Newt walk down the side of a two-foot bank and slip into a small running creek with many quiet pools.  She was a female.  I knew because, unlike the male newts whose skin becomes smooth at this time, she is always slightly rough skinned.

It wasn't long before she was surrounded by other newts.  Indeed, after a short time, she disappeared from sight under a barrage of anxious males!

The same excited behavior was going on up and down the little creek and in the nearby pond from which frog choruses erupted now and then.

What to do?  Why, spend the afternoon, of course, in the company of mating newts and singing frogs!

(...to be continued...)

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