Don’t touch my lizards

Welcome to my first post ever!  Why “excessive”   gardener?  At times I lack “moderation”.   How much is too much?   I like Steven Tyler’s opinion:   If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

Oh, No!  There goes Orlando!
Oh, No! There goes Orlando!

I have been in Florida a year yet still I am surprised by the variety of plants and creatures here, and that’s just in my yard.  So many lizards and they’re all living in my potted plants.

Brown Anole
Brown Anole

The majority are brown anoles,  Anolis  sagrei.  The males reach 20 cm (8 in.) and at least half of that is the tail.  I haven’t seen any that large in the yard.  We used to have a snake that feasted on the lizards and so kept the population lower,  but he wandered into a neighbor’s yard and was promptly executed.


Green Anole

Green Anole

There’s also the green anole,  Anolis carolinensis.  It’s a tree lizard whereas the brown anole for the most part occupies the ground.  Apparently greenies like to eat the brownies’ hatchlings and the brownies have a taste for greenie babies.  I’m not fond of nature’s mechanisms for keeping populations in check.   A lot of nature’s theater plays out on my patio while I’m there:   these lizards seem to like an audience.  I’ve given many an adult lizard a nudge of my walking cane when he’s stalking a little one.  I can’t be there all the time so it’s survival of the fittest able to run like hell.


I’ve never been a reptile person.   I used to scream and run when I saw a snake.  The deceased snake I mentioned would slither over my feet when I  sat at the patio table.   There was no justification for these encounters as far as I could tell.   For awhile I thought he was doing it intentionally just to unnerve me.  I became paranoid whenever outside.  Finally, I  concluded that his reptilian “brain” wouldn’t have the capacity for teasing, so he must have been drawn to my body heat.   He’s not the first.


***Join me next time for the solution to the mystery of the mostly dead  tree.  Kudos to anyone who knows where mostly dead  was first, or at least most memorably introduced.

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