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Sunday, April 20, 2008
Meet Spike.

I know this is off topic of writing/editing/cover design, but it's something that's affectd my life in a small, strange way. My husband and I are planning on building our new house on a plot of 2.5 acres of land in the county. The land has a mesquite berm in the front part of the property where my kids like to run and play. While visiting the land, hubbie spotted a lizard in a tree. I was sitting at my usual table, enjoying the peace when all the kids started to screech with excitement. Even the neighbor with his two dogs was over there trying to see the lizard.

Eventually I was called over to capture the poor creature--me being the resident animal catcher in the family. I've been bringing varmits and critters home since I was old enough to walk, from snails to spider to snakes. I have caught them all. Anyhow, I went over to the tree. The rather scaly, spiny lizard of about six inches, clung to a tree limb by only his front legs. His rear legs looked dead and he had a nasty-looking blood and filth splotch on his back. He was injured, probably by a local cat or a hawk.

I snatched him off the limb and took him to sit with me where he promptly showed off his lizardy teeth and scawry reptilian mouth. After holding him for a while, I decided to bring the little monster home. I'm a sucker for mean nasties with claws and tails as many of you know by reading my fantasy tales.

After a wash in the kitchen sink, I placed him in an old snake cage with some fresh water. He hung out in there and showed off his scawry mouth to any child who came too close. The next evening, I set him free in the front yard, hopeful that it would be a better paradise for him as suburbia here has substantially fewer hawks and our five wee dogs tend to bark loud enough to frighten away any evil cats of doom looking for lizard appetizers.

The following morning, as I went to take the kids to school, there was Spike sitting on a rock, not two feet from where I'd let him go. He didn't look well, but how well can a lizard with a broken leg and blunt trauma to his body look? I left him there and decided if he remained by the time I got back that I'd offer him the cage and see if he ran or went in.

Back home, Spike sat there, staring at me. I rested the cage on its side by him, touched his tail and he crawled in at his own slow, pained space. Ugh. Now I had a ward to care for. A ward that acted like he wants to bite me.

I gave him fresh water and um, hand fed him scrambled eggs. Look, I don't have much more than rollie-pollies here. I have to make do. That night he had bits of cooked hamburger. This morning he ate small bites of banana bread. I suppose I better get off my duff and cook something for my lizard.

This is from Wikipedia:

Sceloporus magister, also known as the twin-spotted spiny lizard or the desert spiny lizard. Desert spiny lizards eat insects and rarely, small plants.

The desert spiny lizard is a cold blooded animal living in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Their scientific name is sceloporus magister. Their other type called the Clark spiny lizard’s scientific name is Sceloporus clarkii.

The way the Desert spiny lizard stays warm like many desert lizards is by changing their color to be darker during cool times. To be absorbing more heat from the sun. Lighter during warm times so then reflecting more of the solar radiation (rays). The spiny lizard also camouflages in the places to not be seen easily.

Like all desert reptiles, the spiny lizard spends most of the day inactive in the
burrows. Burrows are much cooler than the ground's surface.

(The image of the Spiny lizard included in this post is from Wikipedia. After I feed the kids, the dog, the hubbie and the lizard, maybe I'll do a photo shoot with the little critter.)

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posted by Unknown @ 11:27 AM  
  • At 9:43 AM, Blogger Sandy said…

    Ana, what a kind heart you have. My sympathy grew and grew for the poor little lizard as I read your post. Keep us informed of his condition.


  • At 7:22 PM, Blogger Anastasia Rabiyah said…

    Thanks, Sandy.
    I took a few pics of Spike and placed them on my usual blog. I'm not a very good photographer and will try to do better next time. *blush*

    Here's the addy:

    Spike has been active today. He moves around his cage and likes to sit in his water (making me have to clean it more often).

    I don't let my kids hold him because I just know they won't be gentle.

    (o: Ana

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