Of Mountain Streams and Salamander Dreams
My husband called me at work earlier in the week. "The weather's supposed to be beautiful Thursday. Can you take the afternoon off?"
And I didn't have any meetings for Thursday afternoon, so I was able to say "YES! Absolutely!"
He picked me up at work around lunchtime, and we drove to a parking area near a creek where we have hiked many times. We had a quick sandwich and our plan was to hike up the creek and walk through the stream (we'd even brought our river-walking shoes along).
But just before we parked the car, we'd caught a glimpse of a trail off to the side, running up a tiny side creek we hadn't noticed before. He wanted to check it out. And so we did. Up the creek we went. We are always looking for new favorite places!
It was an enchanting creek; and, as far as I know, one without a name (but maybe it had one - in either case, the creek wasn't telling). It drew us in with green, mossy rocks, and crystal, clear water. How could we never have noticed it before?
Around each bend were new delights. Little tiny waterfalls, logs with moss in shades of green your eyes might not even believe were real, rocks perfect for sitting on. We resolved immediately to come back another day when we had time to explore further.
As I passed one of the tiny side springs, I saw motion: the brown body of a fat, healthy salamander, as it leaped into the water and swam - lithe, sleek, and fast - down over a rock into a pool below.
I didn't see a salamander in the particular mossy waterfall depicted in this photograph. However, I believe there may be one in there. I imagine it hidden behind the waterfall - or maybe behind one of those green rocks - in a tiny crevasse, enjoying the feel of the cold, clear water on its moist skin, and dreaming salamander dreams.