Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Painted dragon?

I have been busy in the garden and preparing for Christmas.  The blog has had to take a "back seat" for a while as real life took over.  The weather has been warm and sunny and the summer vegetables are growing well... tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes and plenty of summer herbs....  more about those in the coming days.
Last evening,  I had a visit from my son, Chris.  We were sitting out on the front verandah and enjoying the last of the sunset when Chris suddenly exclaimed...  "look at that" but I couldn't see what he was looking at.  A lizard.  The amazing thing is where we were, and where the lizard was....  this is the view that Chris had.....
 ... and the lizard was on the ground beyond the white rocks.

It was a beautiful creature, about 20cms long (about 8 or 9 inches) and seemed quite unperturbed at me uncovering it to be able to get a photograph.
Chris had at first seen it in the dried watsonia debris and it returned there after a few minutes....
I cna't imagine how he saw it,  but this is the person that, as a child, would point out a possum in a tree as we drove past.  Apparently such skills remain throughout life.

I have seen tinier ones than this previously, but none as beautiful as this.  I think it is some kind of painted dragon, but I'll be checking again about that.

The only other thing to note is that when I first moved here some years ago,  lizards were rare...  the whole yard had been defoliated with glyphosate prior to my arrival.  I have been told that reptiles are poisoned by such chemicals, and the fact that after more than 12 years I am now beginning to see frogs, an assortment of lizards (and larger and larger ones) and a few snakes makes me think that perhaps the ground here is recovering, finally.

Recently, I took some photographs of the path to my back fence.....

.... and then the "defoliated" ground on the other side of the fence....

The bare, dead ground cannot be healthy for animals, and I suppose that is why it has taken so long for my own patch to recover....  the painted dragon gives me hope.

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