This young lady (Amanda) had worked hard all day pulling weeds and trimming back overgrown bushes. At the end of her shift, as the cuttings were being loaded into a pickup to be hauled away, she found this slimy creature.
It’s a Spotted Salamander or Mole Salamander, ( Ambystoma maculatum) if you really want to get technical. It’s South Carolina’s official state amphibian and lives almost all of its life underground buried in damp soils rich with rotting leaves. It had rained very very hard for a while last night and this extra moisture probably induced the creature to come to the surface and look for a puddle or pond to lay its eggs in. Amanda was delighted with her new found friend. She found a large plastic container filled it with mud and planned to take it home with her.
I’m sure that wasn’t a wise idea but she was so proud and happy I didn’t interfere. She had worked really hard all day.
(Or maybe just the beginning.)