Yeah, I know….. You’re thinking a. I’m losing what little is left of my mind and b. Monty Python’s most amazing “Albatross” sketch.

There’s a difference in all of it though:  This is reality.

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What caught my attention, starting the massive missive you’re about to read (or shake your head, say “Kenny’s at it again” and close the page, ignoring this like most people are ignoring everything else going on around them):  “Freezing Sperm Could Help Save ‘Snot Otter’ Salamanders.”

Go ahead and laugh, but I didn’t write the banner tagline.

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The Hellbender Salamander – known affectionately as a snot otter or devil dog – is one of America’s unique giant salamander species. For unexplained reasons, most hellbender populations have rapidly declined as very little reproduction has occurred in recent decades.

Freezing Sperm Could Help Save ‘Snot Otter’ Salamanders.

The largest salamander found in North America, the hellbender can grow to up to 30 inches long and live 30 years or more. They live in a geographic range from Arkansas northeast to New York and have remained relatively unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs.

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For those of you so inclined to be blinded by science…… The Eastern Hellbender Salamander – along with other names – is from the genus Cryptobranchus Alleganiensis Alleganiensis (Daudin).

I’m not so inclined.

However, “Snot Otter” is quite the hilarity-creating nom-de-plume and image creator.  So that am be what I’m a-callin’ the lil’ bugger from here on out.

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Now, it’s time for the 41 page paper that was completed in 2003 by The US Forest Service (the link is to a PDF).

Just a short note before you go for it:  Remember this if you remember nothing else:  The Left – The Cass Sunsteins and John Holdrens of the world – The people in Federal power right now – They’ve been planning things for decades, not just years.

US Forest Service: Eastern Hellbender Status Assessment Report – June 2003.

Page 14 – Table 1 – Where these lil’ darlins make their homes.

Page 24 – Table 2 – Potential threats to Eastern Hellbender populations in various states.

Page 29 through 31 – Best Management Practices, Habitat Restoration and Public Outreach.

Somewhere in that document – I’m beyond positive – Has to be there – ‘It’s Bush’s Fault”.

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From The Ohio Department Of Natural Resources, a basic in-plain-English primer on our new bestest friend, The Snot Otter.

“The Hellbender is the largest amphibian in Ohio.  This totally aquatic salamander can occasionally attain a length of 27 inches.  In spite of its formidable appearance, the Hellbender is quite harmless.”

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At this point, I feel like I’m ‘back in the day’ at the old band’s gigs with Bob Calvert’s voice booming out of the f.o.h. mix as a song intro…….

Ladies and Gentlemen, Daman und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Caballeros and Horsewomen of the world: I give you the fantastic……….

Caudata Dot Org – The Newt & Salamander Information Portal.

Yeah….. An information portal with real bubbling beaker type folks on it.

Here’s a cute page from their forum:  Role of chytrid fungus in decrease in Hellbender populations.

Role of chytrid fungus in decrease in Hellbender populations.

There’s a dead link on that forum page, dang it – www.hellbenders.org – Would have been an instant bookmark right to the top of my Firefox list, even above RedState.com.

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Why did I just put you through some really maddening science stuff that means nothing to you ?

Easy.

The Snot Otter seems to have zero benefit to anything or anyone……. Ceptin’ maybe The Nudger In Chief – Cass Sunstein – Administrator Of The Office Of Information And Regulatory Policy.

Add that to the exec order from our Dictator In Training Pants about the ‘Waters Of The United States’ and…….

Our little friend The Snot Otter is a multi-state Delta Smelt.

I’ve one of those real deep gut feelings there’s a nudge a-comin’ and it’s gonna be a big’un……. and it’s gonna be done quietly.

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Side note……. Simply because I have to – I can’t help myself:

I’ll make you a bet that with a good rub and/or sauce and a top-end low-temperature smoker, Snot Otters are really delicious.

They probably taste like chicken.

By the way, I prefer cherrywood and/or applewood.

Cheers !


Kenny Solomon
South Florida

Awake, alert, on top of the wall, tip of the spear in hand.
Grilled Snot Otter on baby greens, with a 1998 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm !