Hibernating?

If you read my babblings with any regularity, you’ve met the yard lizards. In particular, the one I’ve taken to calling “Dr. Lizardo.”

She usually hangs out all the time right at the edge of the driveway, underneath the car, where she can get to shelter (and shade if necessary) quickly.

She recently must have had a close call. (I’m starting to assume it’s a “she” since in my research about hibernation I came across several notes that the females tend to be larger than the males, and she’s the largest in the yard. It’s a guess. On the other hand, they also talked about males having the colored bellies which they display when they do “push ups” as a territorial dominance display, and we’re seeing that in these latest pictures, so actually, who knows?!)

After those last pictures were taken three weeks ago, I saw Dr. Lizardo almost every day for a few days before we hit Daylight Saving Time ending, Halloween, and a patch of much cooler weather (only into the 60’s and low 70’s) for about ten days. Since then we’ve had a couple of slightly warmer days (low 80’s) but mostly cooler and I’ve noticed that Dr. Lizardo has not been seen in the last ten days or so.

She’s always there if I go out to get the trash cans or mail, or just get up to walk around and get some sun and air during the day. Now she’s not.

I checked and mid to late November is normally when Western Fence Lizards will start to hibernate until February or March, although they can come out to bask on sunny days. So it’s entirely possible that it’s just a timing thing and she’s off sleeping away the rest of 2020 (like wouldn’t we ALL love to do that!) and we’ll see her when the days start to get longer again.

But given that missing tail, I worry. Obviously the hiding spot under the Volvo isn’t quite as safe as she thought it was. And there are an awful lot of crows about suddenly, and they would snap her up in an instant.

I hope she’s safe – I’ll keep an eye open.

2 Comments

Filed under Critters, Photography

2 responses to “Hibernating?

  1. After your somewhat tail-ist comments, what do you expect her to do but hide until the tail is regrown? She’s probably sobbing right now.

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    • I never saw myself as “tail-ist,” but I suppose anyone who’s “-ist” of any sort doesn’t see themselves that way. I apologize for any inadvertent angst my comments might have caused. I also wonder if Fence Lizard tears are similar to crocodile tears? And as long as we’re on the topic of lizard tails, one of the things I saw while researching hibernation was that most lizards, if they lose their tails to escape a predator and then the predator leaves the tail behind, will eat their own tail since it’s perfectly good fat & protein and they don’t have the sort of squeamish standards we humans have. Still, ewww! (That’s probably tail-ist as well.)

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