Red efts are actually one of three life stages of the eastern newt. The adult newts lay eggs in ponds (permanent ponds and lakes, not vernal pools) that hatch into aquatic tadpoles. After a few months the tadpoles change into bright orange terrestrial efts that live on land for one to three years before returning to the water to live the rest of their lives as olive green aquatic newts. During their time as efts they roam around through the forest and even over mountains looking for new ponds to populate, which is how the species spreads. I love the idea of these tiny, solitary, seemingly fragile creatures traveling great distances through the mountains to find a new home. Spotting a tiny bright orange eft high up on a mountain always seems like a very lucky thing to me.