The Lizard of Ahhhs

The lizard has become an iconic symbol of the desert Southwest for a reason. The desert is full of them! And there are many different kinds of lizards that live in Todd’s Backyard. I used to hate ’em. Lizards and snakes. But, having lived here now for awhile, I have come to love the liz! Their fierce scaly bodies and beady little eyes, have become no- so-creepy as I have witnessed their antics!  Having been close up and personal with a few, I must admit they are truly beautiful and intelligent creatures! Plus, they are nature’s best pest control, eating bugs and such   <_> j””””’j——–~

 

LIZ1

 This Tiger Whiptail is a gorgeous fellow! We caught him hanging out, sunbathing on the side of the house!

LIZ5

The Spiny Lizard is a spectacular species! We see them everywhere including the trees! When the males go into a mating frenzy, their stomachs turnbright turquoise!  And they are frisky little buggers…

LIZ4

Actually, not so little…they reach up to 12″ long! We had one last year that started hanging out on our porch begging for a bit of fruit! He eventually would take food right out of my hand!

LIZ

Above is a Western Fence Lizard we caught a pic of on our wood pile. We don’t see these very often!

LIZ3

These are two Zebra Tail lizards I spied doing push ups together on a nice warm rock. The male’s colors are amazing!

Although, all of these lizards are certainly AWEsome!…. There is one lizard that IS the ‘Lizard of Ahhhs’!…

monsterous1

The Gila Monster!!!

One of only 2 poisonous Lizards. It can get up to 22″ long! This guy is  our local Gila Monster…we believe that his burrow is in our neighbor’s backyard, where this photo was taken.

And, I have a story….

The day before yesterday,  Todd an I were sitting in the living room when I saw this Gila Monster marching up to our sliding glass door!! For a minute, I thought he might scratch to get in, but instead, he found a nice shady spot behind our flower pots and laid down for a nap. Of course, we couldn’t let our dogs out, but we grabbed the camera and went out on the porch to get a few good photos…

LIZ7

I’m not sure if you can appreciate the size, but he was at least 20″ long! Quite startling to actually see on up this close!  He ended up spending the entire afternoon lounging on our porch, going from spot to spot to find a comfortable place to rest, I’m assuming after a large meal! I figured, if he was ok with me sitting outside at our patio table having a beer with him, he might be amenable to a little love pat. I’ve always wanted to touch a Gila Monster! Todd wasn’t  around, so I did…just a light rub across his stubby tail. The Gila Monster only slowly raised his head a bit. Didn’t seem disturbed at all. But, I did not test my luck and try it again! When I told Todd what I did, he just about bit my head off, as the Gila Monster could have easily bitten my hand off. Or, at least, I could have lost my hand had he bitten it!  But come on, this is what I’ll do for a good story 😉 The large lazy lizard stayed on the porch for another few hours, then went on his way!

Mr. Gila Monster hasn’t been back on the porch since. I hope that if he does come back, he will have the curtesy to knock on the sliding door and let us know he’s out there. I don’t think he would be as well mannered if he were to be stumbled upon!

LIZ6

OxO j””””’j——–!

Advertisements

Working for This Weekend…

The big Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Time to relax and enjoy….for some! For the rest of us, life goes on as usual. Just trying to survive and thrive!

One of the big events witnessed this week was the ‘bunny birthing’. The rabbit laying down is actually squatting over a burrow she dug out only minutes before. It took a few moments for us to realize that she was actually giving birth.  Her boyfriend in attendance, as well as a local quail family. We saw her digging furiously before she went into baby mode. I don’t know if you could call it labor…it only took about 5 minutes max. We knew it was over when she bent down and started licking, licking, licking, then was chased off the nest by about 5 other males ready to make more babies!

Then there’s all the little baby dirt monkey’s learning the ‘ropes’ of gropes….

Precariously perched to pluck his meager mesquite salad from the tree!

Hard worker award of the week may have to go to the parents of the quail ‘mega’ bunch. They have herded and protected this massive bunch of babies (We’ve counted over 25!) for over a week. Kind of funny though, the babies seem to be in charge, dragging the poor parents all over the yard.

Then there’s Mr. Don Iguana….well, he’s not an iguana, but at least, almost as big!  We watched him getting all puffed up and chase the local lizard ladies. Whew…Watching all the futile reptile seduction was …well….funny!

The  many cactus wrens  spend hours picking and pecking for any grub they can find, anywhere they can find it! They wrender themselves useful, by spending hours on the porch eating all of the bugs!

Maybe the one working hardest for the weekend?….

Baily earns his keep, lapping up all the attention he can get!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend! And thanks to those who have given their lives in defense of the freedoms and blessings we hold so dear!