Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Upon Awakening a Slumbering Dragon


Imagine my surprise to come across this slumbering lady as I tugged out a dying Azalea.  Oh!  Hello.  .  .  I snapped a few photos and gently moved her to a quieter and protected area.  The warmth of my (gloved) hands must have woken her a bit, as she lumbered away as soon as I set her down.  Sorry, Western Fence Lizard!  

We perused various California lizard pictures last night and I immediately became fascinated with our native reptilian population.  I can't wait to come across more of our native lizards and (non-poisonous) snakes!  A tarantula would be pretty memorable, too (although not a reptile).  What have you come across whilst gardening?


  1. The poor thing was probably moving a bit slow with the cool weather. She looks a bit like her battery has run flat. I assume you know about the California Herps website? It's great for IDing our native slithery things:


    I'm constantly poking around there trying to ID skinks and snakes that we see around here.

    We have run into tarantulas here, scorpions, and rattlesnakes. Actually, if I'm honest, the scorpion was in the house, and I wasn't too happy to see it crawling down the hallway. I wasn't expecting any of those creatures here. We used to live not far from here, but now we have a lot more sun, and seem to attract more of the creepy creatures. I don't mind them...just not in the house!

  2. We have her cousin, the Eastern Fence Lizard.

    Anoles have wakened in the greenhouse and are busy staying out of reach of the cat when he visits.

  3. Hi Clare,
    Yes, I believe she was hibernating when I found her, so she does look pretty unhappy! The California Herps site is amazing and my favorite new destination! (the "California lizard pictures" in the post will lead you there). I agree with the inside vs. outside desirability of our native reptiles/insects. Outside, please!
    Thanks for visiting, Nell Jean! The anoles sound like old friends! I'll have to go look them up now to see if we have any here.

  4. I just love our fence lizards. I seem to have a different looking subset of fence lizards that hangs out on the pink stone steps. They are sleeker but otherwise look like a fence lizard. Whereas your picture shows the lovely rough scales, these ones have almost like snake scales, smooth so you want to touch them. I can't find info about any subspecies though so I guess they are just a variation, maybe. I love it when the babies come out, so tiny and so perfect.