Among my many interests as a naturalist and conservationist are salamanders. They are very fascinating amphibians, and come in a wide variety of shapes and colors. My personal favorites are the mole salamanders. These are robust and strong, living subterranean lives. This group includes spotted salamanders. I typically find juveniles in the area around my home this time of year. Unfortunately, on a recent search, none turned up. It is still fascinating to find red back salamanders, centipedes, and wasps, but it is deeply concerning to compare this lack of spotted's with previous years. The decline has been dramatic.