Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Long before I knew there were such things as five-lined skinks or about the color of the tails of their young, my favorite color was blue. Deep, dark, glowing electric blue.

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "baby blue", eh? These shots are somewhat misleading—the blue here is over-exposed and a bit more pale than the eye sees in real life. But I'm sure you get the idea…

These photos are also a bit larger than life-sized. The largest males I have seen are perhaps three-quarters of an inch wide and about six inches long not counting tails. The measurement across my four fingers: two and half inches. (Really makes you wonder how big—or small—their eggs are.)

Luckily when I went to remove the palm from the cache pot, I managed to lift it straight up. I did not expect someone to be hiding between the two containers. Nearly a dozen years ago, I had left a garden cart still packed in its cardboard box on the deck for weeks; when I finally got around to moving it, a baby skink ran out of the box and its tail stayed behind, twitching madly. It's an effective escape mechanism, and the tails are actually built to do just that, but it is still rather skin-crawlingly grisly to witness first hand. This little one, although completely freaked out when not frozen in terror, managed to keep all of its parts firmly attached and was harmlessly released into another plant pot where it hid for awhile before disappearing when I finally left it alone.