EDITOR: When we moved to Rohnert Park seven years ago, I read articles about preserving habitat for the tiger salamander with passing interest. Then about two years ago, as I was refilling a hummingbird feeder in my backyard, the earth at my feet began to open, and what I first thought was a snake began to reveal itself. The head was large, followed by the glistening skin with its design of spots.
I froze as it pulled itself completely up to the surface and watched as it moved slowly to a retaining wall and disappeared under foliage. I've not seen one since, but I have never forgotten it. I'm not sure what it was that caught me so. Perhaps it was the size and color, the slow grace it exhibited as it moved across the yard. For whatever reason, I am very glad of the efforts to protect it.