An unusual colored salamander was on the road this morning while I was out walking in the rain. The color of its skin was a yellow ochre. Never have I seen or heard of a yellow salamander, a banana slug yes but not a salamander. Maybe it was a male salamander showing his colors during mating season? It had obviously been hit by a vehicle during the night or early a.m, while trying to crawl across the wet road; there was noticeable bodily damage to it. Another thought, the color change could have occurred post mortem. Who knows?

In this sketch, I included the Northwestern brown Salamander seen frequently in the lowlands of the Pacific Northwest. If you’re out on a walk through the woods, you might see one zipping through or under the ground moss, decaying logs, branches and stumps. Or you might find one underground while digging a small hole or in the bog. They like the cool dark and damp environment.



  1. Maybe you witness a hatch of new salamanders on your farm. I live in the midst a forest, wet moist underbrush, native plants, and mulch from dead plants, leaves and trees. A perfect environment for salamanders in the Northwest where we get lots of mist and rain. Salamanders are quick to escape if they are exposed so it’s seldom that one will see them. But if a person goes into the woods and starts moving the twigs, logs, moss and dirt most likely a salamander will slip away from its habitat. My painting of the brown salamander should be more of a darker cool brown tone. The color didn’t turn out so great. But thanks for sharing your experience with the salamander


  2. Really interesting. I have only seen salamanders once in my life. and it was one spring season on our farm in northern Indiana. We dubbed it the year of the salamander because, for days, they were everywhere! I have never seen any since. They were a little darker than your brown one above. Thanks for the memory!


  3. Thank you, Jeffrey. If my husband and I still lived in Seattle, it would be really rare to see unusual wildlife….but, living on an island with wildlife just outside our door, we often observe wild animals, native plants and other lovely natural settings that are kept from our eyes elsewhere. I can’t say that wildlife viewing happens more frequently in the NW since I haven’t spent a great deal of time elsewhere observing wildlife. There are places that I’ve been and notice there are no bird sounds….that is a strange experience.


  4. Well executed drawings. Here in the northeast, it is more than rare to encounter an animal that you have never seen before. Does that happen more frequently in the northwest? If so, that must really add juice to each and every outdoor experience.


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