It’s reptile and amphibian season. That means it’s lizard season.
Many of the lizards we see in this part of the country are wide spread throughout the eastern half of the US. Because of our wooded surroundings, skinks are especially happy here, as there is much for them to eat. They seem to favor our decks. They are quick and agile little hunters. Now and then I find one skittling about during the warm days of summer.
This is a Broad Headed skink which is the largest of the eastern skinks. This is a male, who in breeding season has a red head. This particular animal is not fully mature. He will eventually grow larger and will loose the pale stripes on his sides. His little feet stick to the wooden decking like they are covered with glue.
The following fellow is a male Side Blotched lizard. I photographed him in north-western Colorado last summer. He too is very quick and blends in quite well with his sandy surroundings. In late summer when this photo was taken, his colors become less intense.
This is a female Prairie/Plateau Lizard. She cocks her head from side to side to watch for tiny insects. Like all lizards, she uses the sun to regulate her body temperature.
What in the world does this next guy have to do with lizards? Absolutely nothing. But being a reptile, I guess he kind of fits in. I included him for one simple reason. This snapping turtle has an ADORABLE face!
I found this guy crossing the creek at the front of our property. He was minding his own business, as turtles do. When I encountered him and he encountered me, he became a bit frustrated and snapped up a chunk of grass. This photo reminds me of my husband at meal time!