Lots of times I get so engrossed in taking pictures or scanning plants for flowers, the sudden rustle of a creature darting off startles me. Late summer brings lots of baby lizards rustling the leaves.
Both smaller snakes and several kinds of lizards like resting on the sides of the road. The sun warms them. Insects are abundant for snacking. Dangers are at a minimum as passing vehicles frighten larger predators away.
Most reptiles lay eggs leaving them to be warmed by the sun until they hatch. The lizard eggs have recently hatched. Baby lizards seem to be everywhere.
A blue tailed skink was curled up in the gate latch hole the other day. The blue tail was bright. It fled when the protecting latch was pulled out as I opened the gate.
The blue tails mark these as a baby lizards. They get several inches long still sporting the blue tails so many people get the impression the adults have blue tails, are long and lean with bright stripes down their backs.
Adult skinks are very different. They are a glistening tan with light brick orange on their heads. Their bodies are thick They do not have blue tails. I rarely see them.
Fence lizard babies look much like small adults. They are the same color and shape, only smaller. And faster.
A couple adult fence lizards live in my garden. They have territories and favorite basking spots. One lets me work quite close by without darting off.
Several times I’ve come across adult fence lizards out along the creek. They stay still watching me set up the camera and take their picture. I must get within a couple of feet before they dart away.
Baby lizards are different. About all I see of most of them is a blur of movement. The sound of rustling leaves is often the only clue they were ever there.
I can’t blame them. The world is a dangerous place for baby lizards. Few will escape becoming dinner and make it to adulthood. That makes spotting one staying still long enough for a quick picture a special treat.