Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lucky To Be Alive - Part II

Being a good son, I visited my parents on the Oregon coast a couple of years ago. Overall, the trip had been going fairly well with lots of good photos. On the drive up from the airport in California, I found an American Dipper under a bridge and saw that it had a nest with babies up in a drain pipe.


Better still, I spotted a T-Rex at a roadside parking area.

I took an early walk to the beach one cold morning. I had some luck with birds feeding near the water and found a few seals that were lounging on the rocks.

On the way back, I came across some sort of salamander in the middle of the road. Fearing that it would be squashed by a car, I picked it up to move it to the side of the road. It was ice-cold, so I cupped it in my hands and blew on it to warm it up a bit. 

I got a couple of shots and sent them to a few of my friends to see if they could identify it for me. I had no sooner hit “send” than my cell phone rang.

Me: “Hello?”

Robert: “You didn’t touch that thing, did you? It’s a Rough-skinned Newt and it is the most toxic animal in North America. There is enough poison in its skin to kill a dozen people.”

Me: “Touch it? Kinda. . .”

Robert: “Well, I hope you at least washed your hands really good before you ate.”

Me: “Of course I did. I’m not stupid. But, just for the sake of argument, say, instead of actually washing my hands, what if I just sort of wiped them on my pants and then ate a sandwich?”

Robert: “Oh my God! How do you feel?”

Me: “Not very good, all of the sudden. Crap – I got another call coming in. Let me call you back.”

Me: “Hello?”

Voice: “Oh my God! You didn’t touch that thing did you?”


OK - I may not seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the law of averages says that there is a 50-50 chance that I am smarter than you are, so I don't think you are in any position to judge me. Since I get paid every time someone clicks on one of my sponsor's links, please take the time to visit one or two so that I don't have to get a real job.

You can see thousands of my photos at  They are all available for sale as prints or licence. I have a section where you can find birds by species or hard-to-find vertical shots for your next magazine cover

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