Hicks Road
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Give 'em a Brake!
During wet winter months, thousands of California Newts cross Hicks Road on their way to Guadalupe reservoir to breed. Hundreds are killed by cars and bicycles as they try to cross the road. As you cruise Hicks, please keep an eye out for these gentle creatures and avoid running over them if you can. They can usually be spotted 3 to 5 feet into the roadway. Motionless, with their heads up, either facing the direction of the reservoir, or back to the forest from where they came.
Newts are slow moving and can be picked up, removed from the road quickly. Lend a helping hand if you can! However, there's no need to "help them on their way" as they are already "honed in" on where they're going and if you place them higher, lower, or at an "easier spot", it confuses them.
01Nov08: Found a rare Blotched Newt foraging during the first rain storm of the season.
21Mar06: Found an unusual-looking, nearly blind California Newt crossing Hicks. Migration appears to be over.
14Nov04: Newts Migrate!
Sadly, those seen today -- more than a score -- were dead, run over by cars.
9Nov03: The newts annual migration has begun. Those seen today had climbed out of a steep, narrow canyon, crossed Hicks' and were heading uphill. They have a 2-month climb ahead of them before they reach their breeding pond.

14Feb04: Returning along Hicks, I found a couple of California Newts crossing the road heading away from Guadalupe Reservior. The first newt "postured" as soon as I picked it up to move it off the road. Its head and tail arched, body flattened and rigid, I placed it halfway up an enbankment. As I drove off, it remained arched and unmoving.

Grumpy Lil' Blighter -
When threatened, Cal Newts sometimes "posture" to fend off danger. Seeing this one on the road, I decided to take a closer look. At my approach, it suddenly arched itself -- head back, tail up and stayed in this position for over 5 minutes, enabling me to take several photos. Afterwards, when I attempted to pick it up, it arched itself further backwards until its head nearly touched its tail.
It froze in this position and remained so even after I placed its rigid body halfway up an embankment and walked away.
Click here for more on California Newts.
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