Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lizards, Hare, and Painted Bunting

I've had so many lizard encounters lately. I've made friends with a lizard that looks like a dragon. He lives in the agave plants by the back garage door and I think he likes the sound of my voice. When he comes out, I ask him to wait until I get the camera and he always waits. He likes to turn around and watch me and cocks his head from side to side while I speak. Once, my stepson uncovered a bunch of bug eggs for him and he was very happy. I am amazed by how friendly, and how photogenic, this lizard is when he poses for pictures!

I thought we had a strange-looking rabbit that visits the bedroom patio at all times of the day. It has a long nose, long ears, but regular-sized feet, so I knew it wasn't a cottontail or a jackrabbit. I finally figured out it is a hare. I see it at all times during the day--the cottontails usually come out at dusk and dawn.

It is not as shy as the cottontails. Once, one of the dogs chased it out from beneath the wysteria and Chew the chihuahua chased it between my legs and it just sat between my legs as if it knew it was safe. I led the dogs back inside and the hare stayed in the field, poking around for food.

There is a male Painted Bunting that has been visiting the food dish outside our bedroom window. It is rather small and the feathers on its back are still coming in, so I know it is very young. Painted Buntings visit our home often, but they are very shy and it's hard to get their pictures. I did get a couple of this one, though.

We also saw two red-tailed lizards mating on the driveway yesterday. At first, my stepson thought they were fighting because they were chasing each other around in circles, so I grabbed my camera to take their picture and we quickly figured out what they were doing. It's amazing how much larger the females are than the males. Like frogs and toads, they are almost 2/3 larger in overall body size.

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