To help with our collective Seasonal Affective Disorder, I bring you a dash of color. No self mutilation necessary.
This little guy is known as the Red Eft. The eft is the juvenile stage of the Eastern Newt, notophthalmus viridescens. There are four subspecies, since this is New England, his is most likely the red spotted variety.
They live through three stages of life, the larva tadpole stage, the eft juvenile stage, and the adult stage. The eft, pictured here in its glorious color, is terrestrial, unlike the other two stages of its development. The tadpole will shed it's gills when becoming an eft. They travel in order to spread the species, and then redevelop gills and become an aquatic adult newt.
The peninsula sub species skips the eft stage altogether, because its boring. Don't be like the penisula newt subspecies. February is boring enough, but just think, Spring is around the corner. I promise.