Ever since the new lizard condominium complex went in (it's a three-tiered orchard built with natural stone & flagstone-- perfect for lizard housing), Lizard Rock has been the hottest spot in town to catch some rays, gossip or hook up. Larry and Mona had many a rendez-vous before Mona got knocked up. Now we have 87 baby Fence Lizards running around with plenty of open homes for them to settle down in. With the skyrocketing costs and shortages of Bay Area housing, it's a good thing they have us for landlords.
Interesting lizard fact from Wikipedia: Studies have shown Lyme Disease is lower in areas where the lizards occur. When ticks carrying Lyme disease feed on these lizards' blood (which they commonly do, especially around their ears), a protein in their blood kills the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. The blood inside the ticks' gut is therefore cleansed and no longer carries Lyme disease.
Go Larry and Mona! Shall I put on some Barry White and book a honeymoon rock?
Here's a little shot of Mona before she was ready to pop earlier this summer. She was looking for a dark spot to plop her eggs. In reality, she lays 1-3 clutches of 3-17 eggs. Eight-seven is a bit high for a single female but let's just call it 87 for artistic license. Mmm-kay? Because you're not the one tripping over yourself avoiding these little suckers as they dart in front of your feet. Believe me. It feels like 87.
Larry's been seen frequenting Lizard Rock solo lately. His relationship with Mona is on the rocks. Like, literally. I guess 87 kids can do that to you.
In a mid-life crisis, he contemplates the meaning of it all and wonders of his purpose. Why is he here? As the sun warms his back he thinks about his next meal. Little does he understand that the very things that bring him joy, the succulent taste of an aphid, the crunch of a wasp, the tang of an ant or of the sweet flavor of a beetle, are the very things that benefit healthy plant life. My garden is his own smorgasbord of various insects that harm my plants. Between lowering #LymeDisease with his super power blood when ticks bite him, and keeping the insects that drive me bananas at bay, Larry is a hero in his own right and he doesn’t even know it.
Fence lizards are non-venomous though they may bite if handled too harshly. There's been much debate about keeping fence lizards as pets. Although not illegal to own in captivity, it seems fence lizards are regulated by CA Fish and Wildlife and you need a fishing license to own them. Many say they don't make great pets and often die quickly in captivity, so if you really want to study one closely, it's best to catch for a short time and release them quickly so they have the best chance at a long life being a garden hero. Besides, it's so much more pleasant to watch these guys move freely in their own environment.
Larry, Mona and 87 kids do not define you. Your purpose in life is to simply exist, live joyfully and eat as much as you’d like. So chillax and soak up the rays. It’s a lizard’s life.