Monday, December 29, 2008

Leapin' Lizards!

The weather here has been strange this summer. Normally December and January are hot and sunny with late afternoon storms which clear things up and cool things down before bedtime. Instead, we've had cold days, hot days, dry days, wet days, exhausting humidity.

On the super hot dry days the flies are too hot to buzz in the garden and hover in the cool alcove near my front door and Dragon Flies come into the kitchen and bash aimlessly at the fly screen, mosquitoes make their presence unknown by hiding in the Christmas Tree only to be exposed by a toxic spray each morning.

The last three days have been very hot. Sunny, breezy and stinky. Sweat on the lip, whack the fan on hot. Dogs spread eagle on the slate hot. Buzzy insects in the laundry that you're not-quite-sure-what-they-are hot. The horses stand head to tail and swat each other's flies hot.

Yesterday afternoon for instance. It was about 37 degrees so we sat by the pool with the required alcamoaholly drinks late in the afternoon until a thunderstorm threatened and only retreated to the verandah when the rain began to dilute our chardy or soggify our cigarettes. It's sooooo good being rained on when it's stinkin'. Then within 20 minutes, no clouds!

Wanna hear something funny, I couldn't bare to throw the ham bone away so am brewing pea and ham soup in the height of summer . . crazy woman! The kids are away and they don't like it so . . hey . . indulge me.

There are some in inhabitants however, who are thriving in the heat. The cold blooded lodgers of my house and garden. I don't know if it's sexy time for lizards but they've been a plenty . . just hope there's a few around to scare the bejeezus out of my houseguest. I have at least four residents INSIDE the house. And any number outside to whose presence I'm alerted by panicky birds.

This was snapped whilst blogging near my PC, literally while I'm talking to someone in Ireland, lamenting the cold . . .he's about 20cms long and eats the Christmas Beetles (which I have found out are June Bugs) and the fly carcasses that land around the skirting boards. Grab him by the tail and he'll drop it to make a quick escape whilst said appendage squirms to distract the predator. I've seen them with red, green and yellow side stripes.

These little guys (Eastern Skinks), I've mentioned before. They live in the damp course around the house. They hibernate in winter but are very active in summer. They do poo on the carpet but I've learned now to let it dry before vacuuming and they provide a 'snake' like scare if you see their dislocatbable tails disappear under your couch but they're oh so cute. I'd rather have them than not. My SIL however can be palpably heard screaming when one ventures into her house.

This gives an idea of the size compared to the French Door window pane and skirting board.

No my windows aren't dirty, they have 'snow' sprayed on them for Christmas . .

This guy is a youngster and the Noisy Minors (birds) have a special alarm sound for ground slinky things. We always know if there's a lizard or a snake, they sound the alarm. This fellow was about 3 metres from my back door and a willing subject. Very docile. Again about 30 cms long which isn't too big but nice and chunky with a shiny skin which suggests he's just shed and out looking for the girlies. You can pick them up, even though they're wild, as long as you support their body weight from the back with a flat hand. Adam poked him and he 'hissed' that was as far as tough guy would go . . can you see his blue tongue? Hence the name "Blue Tongued Lizard".

He's watching . . .No snails in my garden thanks to these guys . . .

And finally a little dinosaur . . a young Bearded Dragon . . .spickly and spikey. . I once tried to feed one some mince . . he was eager and went for the meat on my finger but bit the tip, I panicked and flicked my hand and the thing went flying through the air . . my dad came round the corner and declared "Well I never . . . I didn't know that dragons could jump!" They won't move until totally provoked so a few have sacrificed themselves to the tractor mowing blades . . .they're so hard to see but so beautiful . . .again dead passive and happy to be picked up as long as their underbelly is supported.

Herro Mr bewfuls . . I know you're rookin' at me!

Just thought I'd share.

(Oh and kj, your book arrived . .thank you so much!)


Susan at Stony River said...

I'm afraid I can't send any sympathy to you for the heat you're enduring, living in a freezing rainhole as I do. I'm envious!

I also envy you those lizards. At first I thought eeewwwww....until you mentioned the snail-free garden. I'm living in Slug Central...mail me a few of those boys??

Ces Adorio said...

I'll take the snails and use snail bait but never, never the lizards, skinks, salamabders, dragons, etcs...I have no idea how I developed extreme aversion to these creepy crawly creatures that did not bother me when I was a child. Oh, I remember now. We were on vacation and there was a giant lizard about 3 feet long sticking to the ceiling of a bamboo hut and I woke up my husband to shoo it away so I can use the bathroom and he told me they were harmless. I ended peeing...anyway, I am afraid of them now. We like the cold weather but there have been humid times. I am still taken aback when I read your summer weather post. Sometimes I think you live not far from here, it's that close I feel to you.

Anonymous said...

You may keep the extreme heat... I would only melt.

Our beasties are so miniscule that they are hard to see.

Enjoy the soup.

Thriftcriminal said...

Nice, I like lizards. Wish they'd deal with my slugs and snails. not warm enough for them around here though.

Gledwood said...

that is a well funky lizard (top one)

my other message is: sorry...


Paddy in BA (Quickroute) said...

Sizzling here too! I go for a walk in the ecological park where I see plenty of lizards and then drenched with sweat head straight into the shower afterwards fully clothed - wash'em for tomorrow.

laughingwolf said...

oh, neat... wish they were here, too :)

good time for the soup, no one around to share the air buns with :O lol

Megan said...

I like it hot. Little lizards like that I'm okay with, but the biggies freak me out!

Baino said...

I love the big ones I must admit but have to watch the dog who would have a go and because they're so slow, they are often predated upon by dogs and cats. I had a blue tongue in the shower recess once. He must have wondered indoors and then found himself trapped. Adam rescued him with a cylindrical post pack!

Ah now Ces, you have a puppy. No more snail bait for you, it's deadly to dogs and they love eating it! A three footer on the ceiling? Yeh, that would creep me out a bit, the worst I've had is a gecko with sticky feet in a Thai hotel but it ate the mozzies so I let him stay! We do have lace monitors and goannas which are huge buggers but not in suburbia. I feel pretty close to you as well. The magic of the internet - aint it grand?

Grannymar, I'm rather glad that ours are big enough to see! Better that than little things lurking behind the curtains! And the soup was damn fine thank you.

Thrifty they must eat something else as well because I'm sure it's too hot and dry most of the time for snails. The way the birds act, I think they might snitch an egg or two! I can tell you, they don't eat mice! Plenty of those in the shed!

That it is Gleds . . no apology necessary, I knew you probably would. I have a message for you . . REHAB!

Haha . . quicky I've done the same after gardening, just sploshed in the pool! Lazy boy!

Wuffa that's the upside . . pea and ham soup is definitely to be eaten when alone! Although you know only sun shines out of my . . .

Terence McDanger said...

"I had a blue tongue in the shower recess once."

You know that girl too?


kj said...

'oh so cute' in the house, baino?
you are a brave well conditioned woman. myself, i would be slinking down the hall with my head down and on my tiptoes. i don't mind these critters when i am on vacation at the pool in a tropical island, but they don't address me headon either.

the book arrived? good to hear!


Anonymous said...

i love that my christmas was fluffy and white...and a little chilly (teens and 20s...the outta staters hate it, and i'm glad.) (heeeee - i so mean.)

i love your lizards! i used to catch blue-bellied lizards when i was a girl...put them to sleep rubbing their bellies. then put them back down under the rocks...some of them ended up quite tame.

TCL said...

I'm ready to trade icy weather for summer. But am in Walla Walla, Washington drinking some bloody good syrah and eating salmon.

However, with how many different ways reptile in Oz can kill a person, not sure if I would be that keen to see them about my house.

a. said...

I just get so confused when you use celsius. ;)

a. said...

"she hadda go bafroom"

Bear Naked said...

Okay you have me convinced to NOT visit Australia at this time of the year.
When is a good time to come visit when the creepy crawlers are not around?
Bear((( )))

Melissa said...

Wow! What cool backyard buddies you have! That blue tongue is amazingly blue -- looks like he had a jawbreaker for lunch. :D I love lizards and would enjoy seeing the ones you have skittering around. You should have seen me one afternoon while I was mowing the lawn ... it took me forever because I kept moving this one toad out of the way and he kept hopping back into the uncut grass!

Unknown said...

Well, here it is around -5 -10 Celsius at the moment. I like it.

Miladysa said...

Heat? I miss it! Bl@@dy freezing here - more snow due soon methinks.

Love the lizzards and critters Baino because their YOURS and not in OUR house or garden! LOL


Anonymous said...

Wet days, dry days? Sure that sounds like the winter in Dublin ;-)

And we would have lizards as well, if Saint Patrick hadn't driven all the reptiles out.

Happy New Year to you.

Baino said...

Terrence . . .you really have to stop dating girls who like blue gobstoppers. Either that or desist with the cold showers.

kj some never get used to them (aka sister in law who pays Adam to remove them only to find they come waltzing back indoors) They don't bother me frankly and I don't see them too often.

G'day Cat and welcome aboard the Bainomobile. Yeh, one of these days we'll have Christmas in a picture perfect snowscape!

TCL you're about to hit Cayman country and the land of bird eating spiders and you're worried about a Blue Tongues? Apart from crocodiles it's the small things that want to kill you here! Enjoy your New Year (mmm Salmon, might grab some for my party for one)

Annie I get so confused when you have imperial measurement and a decimal currency!

Ropi, I'm not a fan of anything over say 27 Celsius. It's been pretty nice since actually.

Hello Miladysa, hope you had a good Christmas . . I guess I'm used to them but your average Aussie suburbanite wouldn't have these in their houses. The privilege of living on acres!

Seriously Ian, it's been all over the place but consistently warm so I'm not complaining. My washing still dries in 20 minutes and the rain has come in the form of welcome showers on hot days. Happy New Year to you too Rev.

Anonymous said...

Remind me never to visit Oz in summer!

I'd definitely rather pee myself at night than risk stepping on one of those lizards...aargh!

Enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts, Baino and here's to a very happy new year!

Anonymous said...

You're right about the profusion of lizards. I've seen loads and loads on my walks while last time I was here I didn't see any. Not that I could tell you whether they're lizards, dragons, gekkos or iguanas....

Baino said...

Thanks Steph, same to yours. For goodness sakes, they're so big and the birds are so noisy, you know exactly where they are! As for the indoorsy dudes. They're cute!

Hi Nick, gearing up for the fireworks? The only one you won't see in Oz is an iguana! A goanna maybe but he'll make you think twice! They're about 2 metres long! One of two 'monitor' lizards that we have hear. Did you do the Manly walk or the South Head walk?
Safe trip home and happy new year to you and Jenny.

TCL said...

It's not the size of the lizzie Baino. It's the fact that I've read about all the critters in Oz that are keen to kill humans. Perhaps it's the fact that you've a prime minister who went for a swim in Victoria to never return. I's got to visit!

Baino said...

Ted you're a riot. He was an old man abducted by the Russians, didn't you hear?

Trust me I am no adventurer. Redbacks, hardly see 'em. Funnel webs, use gloves. Box Jellyfish . .don't swim December to March. Sharks . .well kinda serves you right. Crocodiles, don't swim in a billabong at night. You know what the worst thing is . .damn mosquitos, they drive you insane with that constant mememememememem . . .seriously, I've given myself a black eye in my sleep by thwacking myself on the side of the head trying to kill one.

You're the 'Steve Irwin' of Washington . .you can dump your gear (have a few fine wines and a kangaroo filet) then go and fight Bilbies in the bush!

Cheers cheese, have a good new year . .

Anonymous said...

I did the Manley to Spit walk, the Taronga to Balmoral walk and the Watsons Bay to Rose Bay walk! Fantastic scenery and river views!

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