No pictures, yet. But I’ve seen it.
First, happy to report that yesterday’s goals of getting some down time were met. Groceries, football, a nap (naps are SO wasted on toddlers, they have no clue how wonderful they are) – it was an excellent start. Of course, tomorrow’s Monday, but little steps.
Anyway, anyone who’s read this site for any length of time has seen lizards. Almost all are fence lizards, at most about eight or nine inches long, most smaller, some very small. At first I thought they were California alligator lizards, but it seems that they’re in fact western fence lizards. The body size and shape gives them away. The alligator lizards are long and thin and can get bigger, well over a foot long, while the fence lizards are shorter, thicker, squatter, and rarely get over nine or ten inches.
Knowing that now, I think the only time I’ve seen an alligator lizard was the one at the old house about four years ago. The one that showed up in our toilet in the house. Fredzilla.
Looking through the pictures you can see how much longer Fredzilla was, how much longer his tail was in proportion to his body, how skinny he was, how his head shape is different. Best guess – California alligator lizard.
(As always, I’m guessing, not a herpetologist.)
So a few days ago, new house, no Fredzillas here, starting to see fewer of the fence lizards as it starts to cool and they start go bed down for the winter. Out on the front porch, tucked away in the corner, there’s one of those big plastic bins that you get from the hardware store that are used to stash away about fifty feet of garden hose. I picked it up and slid it four or five feet until I got to the end of the connecting hose…
…and underneath was an alligator lizard that was probably 20% to 30% bigger than Fredzilla. It was over two feet long if it was an inch. And it was just as surprised as I was.
In about two seconds it had scuttled back under the hose reel box where I had put it down. I considered lifting the box up again, but a) it was heavy and I didn’t want to throw out my back, b) I was awkward to lift and I didn’t want to put it down on top of FredZilla II and squish it, and c) I didn’t want FredZilla II freaking out and heading for parts unknown where I would never see it again.
For now I’m assuming it’s still under there from time to time, and in the vicinity in general. I do have to move that hose reel box back at some point, so maybe I’ll set up a couple of cameras to watch when I move it back to see if it’s under there then. If not, I’ve got a trail cam that I can set up at ground level out there, maybe that will catch some photos of it.
The hunt is afoot! Photos only, no captures or injuries or death. Is FredZilla II real or just a hallucination of my aging brain? Time to gather evidence!
Everybody have a good week, starting with Monday tomorrow. Face the day and your fears head on, kick ass, take names. EGBOK!
One response to “Hunting Alligator Lizards”
Bit like my hedgehogs. Now it’s dark by eight, I’ve little chance of telling whether one, two or more are visiting. The food’s gone, but that could be early morning something else…
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