Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Sunday, June 14, 2020
Suddenly he perks up. There is a second lizard, just a little smaller and a little lighter. The first takes offence to the presence of the second. Suddenly lizard time warp speeds into a flash dance. Off they go, zipping around the circle of spilt rails. At the far end the little one cuts a corner by jumping off the rail and scurrying through short grass, then back up onto another rail. I get the feeling this is a well traveled path.
At the far side of the circle of rails, the big lizard pauses. He has done his job. The little ones continues a few more feet and settles into basking on a lower rail. I’m back on slow-mo lizard time. But I’m still hoping to get a really good photograph of that big handsome fella. These lizards are used to people walking past so I can stand reasonably close to them. They ignore cars parking nearby and a toddler wandering by, but a motorcycle causes both to disappear until the cycle quiets. Even a red-tailed hawk soaring overhead doesn’t bother them.
My back aches, a couple getting ready to go hiking must wonder why I’m standing there frozen, but I stick to waiting and watching.
Good! Big Fella is returning to the rails near me. He basks for while ... more lizard time.
He perks up!
Now I see what has brought about the change. A much smaller lizard peeks over the side of the rail. It isn’t the one that got chased. That one is sill basking. This one is much smaller and has elicited a very different response than the first did. I wonder if it is a female.
The little one seems comfortable in Big Fella’s presence. She (?) holds still and allows him to half cover her. Big Fella has a lot of blue on his throat. – almost surely a male. Am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?
After about 30 seconds the two part. The little one disappears and Big Fella goes back to basking.
I sprinkle a little more patience powder. The wait is well rewarded. Big Fella perks up again and goes into ‘huff and puff mode’ -- suddenly he swells to nearly twice his size, he drops his dewlap of bright blue from under his usually flat throat, and does pushups! Obviously a male. Mr. Macho. The blue on his throat and sides is almost iridescent and set off by a bit of yellow. What a handsome dude. I’ve seen the huff and puff mode before, but this is the first time I’ve gotten a good photo.
After we returned home I followed a little more of the Oracle’s advice – time to read up on some lizard information. We need more fence lizards! I found out fence lizards have a protein in their blood that kills Lyme disease. If the tick sucks on a fence lizard it won’t kill the tick, but it will kill the disease if the tick is carrying it.