Legend of Lounging Lizards
living mostly on Joy's Porch
I have a couple lounging alligator lizards* living with me lately. For how long and I didn't know it? Long slender guys in the porch who live there and I talk to them. I look them straight in the eye while I speak. They have small round black piercing eyes in their head. Some broader than others. They may cock their head while looking back at me. Occasionally, as a treat, I see a little tongue flip quickly out of the mouth.
I don't know if the smaller one is the female partner or a child. I think they know that I care about them.
One day when Leo, the elongated younger, was facing downward with his head behind the ping pong table which rests against my porch wall by my back large glass picture window doors, he did not see me, only heard the sound, and got scared and scampered quickly down out of sight. I hope he did not bump his tail, losing it in the fiasco. Lizard tails break off if bumped or grabbed.
I've been real upset this week that there was only one lizard that I could see. Last week I was away at spiritual retreat. I was truly heart broken all this week because I didn't see one guy on my porch and his partner was alone. We have other local creatures (coyotes, hawks, opossums, raccoons, cats, dogs, squirrels, snakes...) that eat what is smaller than them.
I don't know which concern was greater for me, missing or found. Yikes. Kinda like when your little child is missing in the department store and you frantically look, and then relieved to find them, but so upset with them for disappearing under the clothes.
I had an escapade, a great adventure at home. Oh, you would love yesterday's escapade:
When my local living in the porch foot long alligator lizard decided my bedroom at far end of house, was more lovely, especially in my soft slipper, which luckily I don't wear, he made himself at home.
A long lizard with a face, I saw, was in my bedroom curled around and in my soft slipper.
Oy vey, an intruder.
(With the thought of it, I now squirm in my bed. My dear humor loving daughter tells me it could have crawled under my pillow and/or into my ear...) ooo
Can you imagine the fear and shock I had the first time this ever happened to me? I thought I had an alligator in the house. A dragon. It was a monster. It was a grandfather, huge. Kind of like the "fish that got away." That was a few years ago, the first time. I was better the second time. I have no problem with them in their OWN environment.
Oy vey, I called my younger sister to rescue me and she did.
She must have heard me shrieking from surprise from miles away, and immediately took my fast phone call, "lizard alert, lizard alert", and jumped into her car in the depths of her condo's garage and came to me, letting herself into the house, while I stood guard in the bedroom. I didn't see where it had scampered.
Takes a while to shake out every skirt and top in case he is clinging. yuck.
When I was unable to capture "Leo" the lizard, and lost sight of him, I emptied my 1/3 of nearby purple clothes closet (used to be my husband's, z'l, small closet which I had made for him decades ago) thinking he might have slithered into the closet.
What a sister!!! What a lizard. I waited for my sister to catch him. Just as she showed up in my bedroom with a large shoe box, Leo was visible on the carpeted floor of the partially emptied closet.
This one lizard, my rescuer sister agrees, has a smaller head than the other two. I don't know. She has seen them here when I was showing them off as my pets.
Does this mean it is a third lizard? Faye gingerly, carefully boxed Leo (he wasn't any old spider or cricket) and I directed her to the back yard, past their lounging places, far to the very end at the slope where she relocated him. We left water for him.
Tonight as the sun was going to set, I looked at the usual resting and sunning spot at this time, and lo, there they were. Two of them. A little thinner one with a long tail at least six inches, length of his body, resting on the short tail of the larger one. He was so cute with his little head propped up on the other's tail. I took pictures. The bigger one had had a longer tail and this must be a new tail. It is lacking the strong bands of black scales and looks less reptilian. The bodies are another six inches and about the thickness of my thumb. They lounge quietly on the edge of the ping pong table which years ago, I had painted green. Now the table sits a few feet tall, unused, on its side. Maybe they thought they would camouflage into the table.
Half an hour later for the next half hour, both lizards were attached on the wall of the house, in the dark night, facing up towards the light bulb which is what they do every night at the same time, as it is dark. How do they do that? The lie there, feet and cute little hands outstretched, cocking their heads to one side or another, and face the light bulb. Sometimes the tails lie straight down, sometimes, curled around. Must be warm for their cool bodies. Their own sun spa. Lounging Lizards Spa of Joy.
I got to watch the big guy have his dinner, or rather appetizer. A little crawly creature on the wall. Tongue flip.
Once again, I was inches away, and tonight snapping a slew of lizard photos. Used up a new set of batteries. The little guys don't mind me at all. They must have been watching me forever and I never knew it.
* Southern Elgaria multicarinata Webbil
Unusual, but I saw two lizards resting this morning, not just late afternoon, lounging lizards on edge of old ping pong table ledge, their favorite spa place.
A bit later, I saw one, I think the smaller one crossing on the cement porch floor. Because my feet were at his eye level, he didn't recognize me, and while I stood there with a metal sprinkler pole in my hand, Leo the lizard opened his mouth WIDE enough to chomp a finger, or a toe, letting me know he meant business and beware. And so it was. Red inside the mouth. Whew. I departed and I did not see him last night, nor today.
I must figure out what to do with them because I don't want them in my house.
Next day. Say a smaller than larger lizard.
I moved it with broom into long handled purple dust pan. I smoothly carried lizard to far end of garden and released into the slope of ice plants near where the first one had been dropped by my sister. Again, I added a basin of water. Felt a little guilty about separating family but my sanity is important. I keep thinking there could be a lizard again in the house. Three times is too much over the last few years.
Had this lizard been in house the entire time I was at Kallah??? yuck.
TODAY two lizards on porch cement....
Caught small one, thinner than large one with short tail, and moved him to back yard as I had other a day or two ago.
Large one wouldn't let me catch him. smarter, wiser ...
Wonder if the smaller one had returned here and that was him today.. he watched the world the whole time I carried him in dust pan with handle.
Or is there a third one??? or...
Last night I did not see any lizards on my wall as they they like to look towards the light.
I like the little long guys, but don't like my anxiety about them, and fearful that I could leave a door open if even an inch for a moment. I even taped the tear in the sliding door screen. 3X is too much. One time was too much.
postscript. Ahh, reporting now to another fellow woman lizard lover:
Another day. I really miss the little guys, my lounging lizards. Yesterday I saw the big guy go behind my gardening cabinet.
postscript again. OK, a couple more times, each day the little guy was up on my wall sunning himself under the light bulb and although they make it harder for me now, I relocate them, hoping I don't hurt them on the back yard journey, hoping they don't fall off the dust pail.
It was sad for me. I missed them. I was careful to keep my screen door shut, just in case, and I still am careful.
~ ~ ~
Do you recall my duck visitors that lived in the spa? and my quail family? and ___? the Painted Lady butterflies?
Yes, I was attached to all of them.
Do these little guys have souls? from where?
Two Lizards on my back porch
(c) Joy Krauthammer 2009