This morning, while putzing around the garden, I was joined by this very bold lizard. I'm guessing he is a lizard, but I'm not really sure. After my initial "snake!!" reaction (which I suppressed enough not to scare him), we enjoyed each other's company. He stayed with me while I transplanted a few "volunteer" zinnias, even when I came very close to snap his picture. Eventually, he did move to the walkway, where I was forced to step over him to pass.
Lizards bring back fond memories of my parents for me. My mother hated lizards. She had flower beds around the porch, and when she saw a lizard, she was apt to take her hoe to it. It wasn't that lizards had offended her in any way, but she wasn't going to risk that they might. Besides, lizards look a lot like snakes, and if there was something she hated more than lizards, it was snakes. My father, on the other hand, seemed to enjoy the company of most critters, lizards included. He used to spend a lot of time sitting on the porch, and he was often joined by a lizard or two. One, in particular, was a frequent companion. I know it was the same lizard because it was missing part of its tail. I'm guessing this was from a close encounter with my mother's hoe.
But back to my morning companion . . . . It occurred to me that this might not be the friendly lizard I imagine it to be, but some poisonous reptile that escaped its cage and has come to hang out in my garden. (I do have some of my mother's genes.) So if any of you can confirm that it is just a harmless, common lizard (or salamander or skink or whatever), please help me out. Here's a closer look.
And in case you are wondering . . . yes, I was using my hoe, but, no, I didn't chop his tail off. It just got cut out of the picture.