Like many other critters in the animal kingdom, the juvenile stage of the Eastern red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is brightly colored to warn off potential predators, due to the saturation of the juvenile’s tissues with tetrodotoxin. We spotted (heh) this little beauty as we were day hiking in the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia.
I don’t remember specifically where this location is in southwestern Colorado, I just recall it being devoid of all traffic for miles and miles. At one point we stopped the car, got out, stretched our legs, and took photos for a good 15-to-20 minutes before a single solitary car flew by at high speed. That entire area was just profoundly empty, and so quiet that you could hear your own pulse.
We did one of our epic road trips out in the American West over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2009 – flying into Denver, then driving in a rental to southwest Colorado, down through southern Utah, down through central Arizona, over through central New Mexico, back up to southwestern Colorado, then returning to Denver for our flight home. Lots of miles to be sure, but also lots of winter scenes that we rarely get to experience as well. As you can see above, we had snow in Silverton on the streets, and you can just barely make out the snow-capped mountains in the background.
Photo info: Downtown at night Silverton, Colorado December 2009 Leica D-LUX 4 digicam