Friday, May 30, 2008

Visits from the Reptilian World: Pop Quiz

What is it? Long, slender, striped and blue-tailed, these little critters like our deck and sidewalk.

This one left quickly, apparently being camera-shy.

Sometimes they lose their blue tails, and then they are very odd-looking indeed. This happens when a predator attacks. The skink can shed its tail, and the tail, according to at least one source, will continue to wiggle after it's detached, which distracts the predator. Well, I reckon. That would get my attention. Imagine grabbing someone's arm and it just comes off in your hand!

This big guy showed up at Derek's house--which is located on a hill in a fairly dry location.

Where was he going, and why? We noticed him because of the racket he made crawling through the dry leaves by the fence.

A past encounter with one of this species taught me not to get too close. I saw one crawling beside the road, and stopped to look. The smell was overpowering, and he looked like he was in a bad mood.

I opened the door and was talking to him when he suddenly lunged at the car. I just had time to slam the door before he struck it, hard enough to leave a dent. I figured he hadn't had his morning cup of coffee yet.

And last, this visitor in the garden has had a very successful career keeping rabbits at bay.

Can you identify these critters?

**Note: there is a not-too-honest one included!


Tipper said...

We have the blue tail lizzards all around our house too. Another thing that removes thier tails-two girls who aren't really fast enough to catch them.

Granny Sue said...

oh yeah--my granddaughters found that out too! They were so shocked to be left holding a tail.

Grand Life said...

Without looking at the other comments--cause that would be cheating-- the first critter is a blue racer lizard--anyway that's what we used to call them. They were highly prized and harder to catch than the just plain tailed ones. The 2nd one is a snapping turtle and I know their mean but didn't know about the smell. Is it a defensive mech. I think the third one is not a snake but a very long worm-- but you did a good job with it. I had to look long and hard. Doesn't look like the rattler's my mother used to kill with a shovel.
Thanks for visiting my blog earlier today. I'm late reply because I've been in the yard all day trying to tie up loose ends so we can leave for the summer in Colorado on Sunday--or Monday- or Tuesday--does that tell you how it's going. Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

That bottom one reminds me of the fake snake I threw on Larry when he was driving out the ridge.

BTW, please add that to my list of things to never do again...

While being absolutely hilarious, he did let go of the wheel and darn near jumped clear out of the truck. What made it funnier was in all his jumping around, he threw it on Jaime!

Now please note, while being highly amusing, it wasn't one of my smarter moves...

Had to try it though,


Granny Sue said...

Here's what these reptiles are called where I live:

The first is a blue-tailed skink, also known as a five-lined skink. The one pictured is young--as they age, the stripes fade and the male's head turns red.
I like having these little guys around because they are proficient bug and larvae eaters. Judy and Tipper, I like knowing the other regional names for the skink.

The turtle is called a mud turtle here, also called a snapping turtle. The one we saw was pretty big, but I have seen some bigger. They look like a leftover from dinosaur days. I think the smell I mentioned may not have been from the turtle himself, but from wherever he'd been hanging out because he was covered with slime.

And the last--Aaron is right. It's my rubber snake, so realistic that Larry still quails when he sees it and Hannah threw rocks at it for a few mintes before she realized it wasn't real. And Aaron, Larry deserved that scare you gave him (although doing it on the ridge road was probably not brilliant, as you said!)--he is always scaring people with rubber snakes. This time the laugh was on him. Remember the one Jared put in the grass while Larry was mowing. I never saw a man get off a mower so fast!

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