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Looking for Lesser Creatures

Most people have little sympathy for frogs, toads, lizards, or even snails. Therefore they do not pay much attention to these creatures and are, in fact, even likely to turn away from them in disgust. Such an attitude is foolish, for these "lesser" members of the animal kingdom are really ideal to observe and photograph.

Crested Newt
The male has a crest in the spring, the female never does. Dark gray. Belly yellowish-red with black spots. Grainy skin. Up to 7 inches long.

Striped or Pond Newt
The male has a crest in the spring. Brownish to yellowish, underside yellowish with black spots. Smooth skin. Up to 4 inches long.

Striped Newt
Back like the pond newt, but without a crest, only a dorsal stripe. Up to 4 inches long.

Mountain Newt
Back slate gray to blue, underside bright orange.

Newt and salamander larvae (as opposed to the tadpoles of toads and frogs).
Fire Salamander: Yellow and black patches. Up to 10 inches long. Deposits its larvae in brooks and springs. Found in leafy woods and under stones in moist valleys.

Alpine Salamander Black
Slimmer than the fire salamander. Up to 6 inches long. Found in the Alps in damp mountain forests, but not lower than 3000 feet above sea level.

Wall Lizard
Brown or gray with dark designs and a dark horizontal band along the sides. Belly reddish, spotted with black. Sides have horizontal rows of blue dots. Very slender. Tail about twice as long as the body. Throat band not serrated as with all other lizards. About 7 inches long.

Tree Frog: Color changes grass green to grayish-brown. Toes have adhesive pads. Up to 2 inches long.

Brown or Wood Snail
Eyes at the ends of the feelers, as with all land snails (pulmonates). Without shell (limacinidae). Grainy mantle with airhole on the right side of the mantle.

You can also hunt for the constellations and the stars that comprise them. For this you need binoculars or a telescope. Refer to the astronomical charts on pages 62-66 to see where and when the constellations are visible.

The illustrations of the constellations given here show what you can find with the telescope.

The Indians, as we know from all the tales about them, drew their messages on strips of birchbark. There is no need for us to be that authentic, and it's far better today to leave the birchbark on the birch trees. Strips of brown wrapping paper will serve as well. And if you carefully singe the edges with a candle, the paper will look positively ancient. After all, the important thing is the message, not what it is written on.

Birchbark Strips
The illustrations on the next page show what Indian birchbark strips looked like. The pictures drawn on them tell stories about the life of an Indian. Since you have not had any practice in reading these picture stories, there is a short text added to each picture.

When you observe these lesser creatures, you will find more beauty of nature. Everything in nature has its own beauty and are unique, it reflect the beautiful creations of Creator.


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