Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lizard Rocks.

Or should that be “Lizards rock!"?

The Five-lined Skinks like my yard as much if not more than the gray treefrogs do. The sleek little reptiles are usually found running back and forth across the decks (much to the joy and interest of the indoor cats), and can occasionally be spotted climbing up and down the tulip tree or the silver maple in the side and front yards.

So far this year their favorite activity is spending the morning chilling—er, rather sunning—on a few landscape rocks (from an old water feature that I pulled up many years ago; that's a new one going in) that are on top of a cinder block foundation (for a garage that was never built) in my front yard.

So far there have been three on the wall (adult male, younger adult/female, and a youngster if not two) and at least one has been hanging out in a pile of rocks on the front walkway—I discovered that when I went to clear the pile off the walkway and nearly mushed the skink I didn’t know was between the layers of rock. *sigh*

I will certainly make sure I don’t clear away all of the rocks; if I do move them I’ll build the lizards a pile exclusively for their use. There’s another bunch of rocks already well-sunk into the “garden” that I might as well just leave as it is for the skinks—I’m sure they’re already in there anyway.

Add “skink” to one of the things that has come in under my ill-fitting front storm door. !@#$% At least that’s how I’m assuming the cats managed to grab one; I found a yearling, tailless, very dead and quite flat, in the cat room this week. *sniff* (Yes, I know--fix the door, Wren!) Up until now we had been even—I rescued one out of a spider web one summer but found another dried up in a potting soil container the following spring…

I watered down the hatchling (tiny-tiny-tiny with a brilliant blue tail—that will fade as the skink ages) while pondering how best to extract it. Funny how you don’t appreciate how incredibly strong spider silk is until you try to untangle a lizard from the sticky stuff.

The skink seemed to have spun a bit and was still quite feisty, too much so for me to attempt to unwrap all of the spider web that had entangled its legs, so I put it in a container with some rough substrate and hoped for the best—that it would know how to rub itself free. Much to my relief, it did! And here it is, ready to be released:

The spiders have a right to hunt the deck same as the skinks but yes, I pulled down that particular web. (Wee tiny little lizards are nevertheless waaaay too big for the weavers anyway; there wasn’t a spider in sight through the entire ordeal.) Would still love to know how the lizard got into it the web the first place—it was strung across a wide open area of the deck and the skink would have had to fall or jump a foot or so to land where it did…