Who Am I?

Although I could probably ruminate for a few hours to ponder that existential question; light a candle and meditate with a mantra, I’m not. Instead, I’m wondering is what and who is THIS?

Does anyone know? I’m not sure it’s albino but I have never seen an alligator lizard this color. I can’t find any information at all. He comes out every day from a spot near the veggie garden and hangs out for a bit.

Most of my other alligator lizards look more like this:

Totally different, right? Even the scales look different. Maybe I discovered a new species or maybe it’s an odd, aberrant mutation. I sent this photo to the local herpetological society to see if they can identify my new friend.

If you have an idea, let me know!

UPDATE: Mystery solved! San Diego Herp Society got back to me right away with this great website and information that pretty much explains the odd coloration. Apparently it’s a variation of a Great Basin Fence Lizard. If you scroll down the page, they talk about Rusty-Orange Variations.

http://www.californiaherps.com/lizards/pages/s.o.longipes.html?fbclid=IwAR35ItZm3k6mLudiGD0b8ZOZ9b_16js0U-fGIvNFu2vinK4cggMxBchtfQ8

(Some) Creatures Great and Small

With a nod to All Creatures Great and Small by veterinarian James Herriot, this is what my Sunday looked like.

We started off the day at the beach and I’m beyond sad that I didn’t have my good camera with me so I couldn’t capture the magic of a school of dolphin jumping and splashing in the water. I’m sure this paddleboarder was happy because they seemed to follow him wherever he went. Trust me, there are about six dolphin in this photo.

On the way home, we saw a bit of an odd sight…check out these seagulls that shouldn’t have been this far away from the beach. They usually only fly inland when there’s a storm, so I have no idea why they were flying around in circles and then perched on the telephone lines.

Today was a work project day in the garden, cleaning up around the rosemary and lavender. I sat down for a minute for a wheatgrass break and this little alligator lizard stopped by to say hi. I scratched his back with a stick and he allowed me to take these pics.

All in all, a great Sunday for creatures great and small.

My New Best Friend

This little guy visits me every single time i’m outside. He’s easy to identify because of the dark spot on the top of his head. I’m not sure if it’s a wound or an injury, but he seems healthy. I pet him with a little stick; he also enjoys a back massage.

I see nothing wrong with having an alligator lizard as a bestie, do you?

What does a shiny green beetle, pennies, and a lizard on my bed have in common?

What does a shiny green beetles, pennies, and a lizard on my bed have in common?

Probably nothing, but that’s the puzzle.

Yesterday, I found a baby lizard on my bed–on top of the comforter, apparently hanging out. It didn’t look confused or lost, but as much as I love animals, I don’t really want to share my bed with an alligator lizard so I ran in the kitchen, grabbed an empty hummus container, and RAN back in the bedroom, hoping he was still chilling out and hadn’t moved. Thank goodness, he was in the same spot. As fast as I could, I scooped him up into the container, slapped on the lid and released him/her outside in the garden. How strange is that? I know we live in SoCal and there are lizards everywhere, sometimes in the garage, but rarely ever in the house. I don’t have pics, but you can believe me. It happened.

(Here’s a photo I just took of either the same baby lizard or a cousin, catching some rays on the sprinkler. Stay outside, little one!)

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Very strange, I think to myself.

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Early this morning while I transplanted a few baby herbs, I found an old scruffy penny. As I looked around in another part of the garden for something else to fill up more empty spots,  I found another penny.

Hmm…that’s odd, I think to myself.

A couple seconds later, I spied something shiny and green on the lawn. When I got close to check it out, I saw it was a dead beetle which I’ll save to show AB 2.0 at some point in the future.

Hmm…that’s odd AND strange,  I think to myself.

So what’s going on at Casa de Enchanted Seashells?

I have no idea, but a little research revealed this:

Finding a lizard on your bed implies that you are losing control or authority over someone or somebody. Okie dokie. Not sure about that, but I’ll consider it. This is better…The ability of the lizard to drop its tail, and grow it back has led to it being a symbol of growth, regeneration, and survival. To many Native American tribes, the lizard survivability has made it an important symbol especially when it comes to the birth of a male child. Many cultures see lizards as protectors and guards. This is particularly true when you consider many native American cultures. For instance, any Plains Native American tribes revered lizards for their ability to survive. Umbilical cords were sewn into amulets that resembled lizards as this ensured the health, masculinity, and strength of baby boys.  (https://www.snaketracks.com/lizards-symbolism/)

The beetle is a Cotinis mutabilis, also known as the figeater beetle (also green fruit beetle or fig beetle), and is a member of the scarab beetle family. I don’t have any fig trees…Symbolically, if you see a beetle of a green color, it’s the symbol of good health and prosperity, The beetle is often seen (in many cultures) as a lucky charm. Some even use it as an amulet. … Beetles are also associated with change, balance, and consistency.

Regarding found money, the most common thought is that coins are a sign from a departed loved one sending you their love and support. Ok, I get that, but I wish my mom or dad had left a couple million dollars buried in the garden, not two copper pennies. I’m GRATEFUL for the message, but still. Ya know? Oh well. Thanks, guys.

And it’s not even 10am here. I wonder what the rest of today will bring.

 

I was bitten by an alligator

lizard.

Yup, an alligator lizard. So adorable. So harmless looking, right?

alligatorlizard

A few teenagers were sitting in a local park above our beautiful Agua Hedionda Lagoon, attempting to humanely herd this creature off the grass and back into his native habitat of sagebrush and coyote bush, when I waltzed by and thought I’d be the conquering heroine and offer my assistance.

They were afraid to pick him up, but I said, “no problem, guys, here’s how it’s done.” I then proceeded to pick him up, totally forgetting the proper way to handle a scared reptile and he immediately latched onto my finger with his razor sharp teeth and WOULD NOT LET GO.

So much for my heroics; I started screaming and shook off the poor little fella, sending him sailing off into the bushes. No worries, though. He was FINE, scurrying away with all of his limbs intact and whole, probably searched for his family to tell them about the lunatic human he encountered, while I was nursing several bleeding puncture wounds…amid teenaged laughter. To be fair, they DID ask me if I was OK, but I think they actually recorded the whole incident, so if you see it on YouTube, yes, that was ME.

I dropped my phone whilst repelling the attack of the ‘gator, and this pic was accidentally taken…

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It was all good, though. Just a day in the life of Princess Rosebud.