Here There Be Dragons

Oh spring! It's the time of year when the newts come out to roam! Well, maybe roam is an overstatement. Amble? They are hopelessly slow and get smushed by cars and other careless folk in droves. Some years I've spend entire bike rides stopping every ten feet to help one of these guys off the road. But if you've ever seen one of these guys slowly slide from solid ground into a pond, you know how swift and elegant they are in water. It's like a transformation when they brake the surface.

They remind me of some small ancestor of dragons, whether real Komodo ones, or the imaginary Dungeons &- kind.

The rough-skinned newt is native to the West Coast of the US and they're found all the way up and down the coast on this side of the Cascades range.

They're though toxic when ingested, is safe to handle, so do this guy a favor and help him out by putting him to whichever side of the road his nose is pointing at. Though it may ward off garter snakes, he hasn't figured out how to be toxic to motor vehicles yet. And watch where you're going. It's bad luck to step on a dragon...