Sunday, June 1, 2008

Leaping lizards

The boys and I were in the backyard yesterday trying to catch up on some yard work. Well, I and my oldest son Jeff were working, while the younger guys were catching bugs. All of us like bugs and other critters and we are always on the lookout for some exciting new find.

We have a large, rotting tree in the backyard that will come down soon, and as we were determining the best way to cut and land it we noticed a large skink living inside. I have observed some big skinks in my time (Jeff caught a 6 or 7 incher a few weeks ago), but this is really big--I would guess a good 11, maybe 12 inches long, and fat as a garden hose. I'm not scared of snakes or lizards, but this fella gave me pause. I put my finger right next to his head, and he didn't even flinch; in fact, it looked like he was contemplating whether he was hungry enough to attack this strange worm suddenly thrust in his face. He certainly wasn't scared, so I backed off. Very cool. If you're interested, the particular skink is known as a Broadhead skink (Eumeces laticeps)--well, you can check it out for yourself here.

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