Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lizards in the Garden

This time of year brings out all creatures great and small it seems. Nina over at Nature Remains is doing a study of a vernal pool on her property. I think it is so facinating all the creatures she is finding in this pool that are already reproducing. If, like me you find this sort of study of wildlife interesting you should check out her site. All of her talk of Spotted Salamanders has made me wonder why I don't have more lizards in our garden. I try to be as organic as possible. Where I used to live I had those little black lizards that had the habit of dropping their tails if I got a hold of one. This was rare becasue they were so wary but it was fun seeing them skittering around the edges of the flower beds. Unfortunately the ones pictured here are the only lizards I have in the garden. The above lizard is 'Metalic Whiptail' and the one below is 'Mexican Fiesta". Do you have lizards in your garden?
One of my favorite trips to Texas was during summer and I got to see many lizards there. It was lizard heaven. This was before I had a digital camera so I don't have pictures to show you. Those big spiny lizards are so interesting as were the really colorful almost neon looking lizards. I wish I knew more about them. I hope that any of you that go to the Austin Spring Fling will bring back pictures of any of the lizards you see.

An edit... Be sure to look at Monarch's Blog if you want to see more Salamander pictures. He knows where to find them too.


  1. Hi Lisa, Lizards are so common and numerous here I don't think much about posting photos of them.Once again you've opened my eyes to differences in gardens according to location.I AM thankful for the lizards b/c they eat bugs.

    They make themselves known to me audibly as they scurry and skitter throughout my garden in and around the leaves. This could be alarming if one thinks it might be a snake like I did when I first moved here.I learned quickly years ago that a snake cannot be heard when it moves through the leaves and lizards can.

    Your lizards don't eat bugs but they certainly serve you well adding some fun and interest to your garden.

    Thanks for the link- I'm going to head over and see what Nina has to say about wildlife-- which I am wild about. :-)
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

  2. We have the Blue-tailed skinks, but I've not seen a great variety of lizards around my beds. Love your "garden lizards!"

  3. I've never seen a lizard in my Indiana gardens, except for the kind you posted about. Maybe I will see one or two in Austin!

    I have heard that putting fake lizards and snakes in your garden is another way to keep the rabbits away. It hasn't worked for me...

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  4. Lisa, You are a true nature-lover! The only lizards I would care to pick up are the ones in your garden, which are lovely by the way.
    We don't have lizards here in Illinois, but I have become good friends with all the toads who come to visit my garden. Anything that eats the bugs is a friend of mine!

  5. Dear Lisa,
    A few lizards will come to my gardens in the summer. My garden ponds are too small for much wildlife. My fish and a toad or two do winter over. Mostly I think of my garden ponds as large bird baths!
    Your Lizards are charming! so bright and cheerful.
    Nina is a marvelous writer and photographer. I always enjoy her essays and I learn so much!
    Thanks for sharing her site.

  6. I would love to see your lizards (geckos) Meems. I have toads, which I appreciate, in the garden but they just aren't the same as lizards. lizards are so busy. They come in such a beautiful aray of colors. If you go to Nina's blog you will just love it.

    Thanks Jayne, I would love to have blue-tailed skinks in my garden.

    Carol I don't think that these lizards have any bearing on the rabbits in our garden. Even when Luna chases them all over they just come back for more. I think they know she is just a lot of hot air and won't hurt them.

    If you see any lizards while in Austin be sure and get a picture for me.

    I am with you Rose. I like those bug eaters. I dind't know there were no lizards in IL. Is it because you are so far north?

    Sherry, maybe you can get a picture of some of your lizards this summer. I would love to see them.

  7. Oooo Nancy I have never seen a wild salamander. I think that would be so cool. If was in my garden so much the better.

  8. Hello Lisa! I love lizards in the garden and also have those blue-tailed skinks in abundance. Any lizard's a good lizard in my book - love your artistic garden lizards as well - lovely!

  9. Hi Deb, I like to think of my lizards as lures. Maybe I can lure other lizards into the garden with them.

  10. The Spring Fling visitors are sure to see the commonplace anole lizards (pronounced ah-nole-ay) while they're here. These nifty, bug-eating little guys can change color like a chameleon, and they have no teeth so they can't hurt you, even if you delight in catching them, as my daughter does.

  11. I love your lizards!
    We have the small ordinary ones, and some that look like geckos and are supposed to bring the house luck. I saw the first ones yesterday.

  12. Hi Lisa
    I love lizards to. I have only ever seen one here. It actually came into our conservatory, I did manage to get it back into the garden though. Tell you a story. Years ago my daughter worked at a port. The ships used to come in with those massive containers on. One day one of the men working there found a beautiful lizard trapped, he got it into a box, then didn't know what to do with it.
    Of course I ended up taking it. I found a home for it, a lady that specialised in them. It had come all the way from Turkey. She did tell me what it was but I con't remember.

  13. Pam, I want to see everything your garden and all the other gardens in Austin have to offer, that includes lizards.

    Vero you will have to show a picture of your good luck gecko.

    Cheryl that is an interesting story about the lizard stowaway. I bet more of that goes on than what is reported.

  14. Lisa, those lizards in your garden are you! They look right at home. I have never seen one here, don't think they can survive this far north. But they sure would help with bugs. Wonder if they eat Japanese beetles!

  15. The only lizard I ever had in my garden was the escapee Iguana that ended up dead in the Forsythia after my dog played with it. I think I'll stick to amphibians from now on. (Memorialized in my "Eeww!" post.)

  16. Beckie, not many things like Japanese Beetles. If they eat them they don't eat near enough of them to suit me.

    MrMcD, I would love to read about the iguana. How strange to find one in your garden. It must have been an escapee.

  17. Love your garden lizards! Arizona is filled with an abundance but they are too fast for my camera!!
    I have a month left to capture one..of course I will bring back one of the carvings that are also abundant!! sunkissed in Arizona NG

  18. I love your Lizards and they are so colorful! Thanks for the smile and love your garden!

  19. Lizards,I have lizards everywhere,including in the house. We have geckos in the house, here they call them iguanos, they come in a couple of colours and make a clucking noise like they are reprimanding you.
    Then there are the iguanas,and lots of other lizards, some black ones and some emerald green ones too. I guess I can try to photograph some, but they move fast! I also have several ceramic,resin and metal lizards around.

  20. We have salamanders here, but no lizards, so I too would love to see photos of them from some of the Spring Flingers. I confess I did a doubletake at that first photo, unsure if that was living sculpture or not!

  21. Hello Lisa,

    Even if you had the real ones, too, those arty-ficial lizards look good in the garden! Maybe it's too cold for them to winter over in zone 5?

    As Pam told you, we have little anoles in our Austin gardens. Anoles are sometimes called "American Chameleons" because of their color changing ability. My kids had them as terrarium pets in the North and I was quite charmed to find out they live around here!

    At night we see geckos outside on the walls of the veranda, catching insects attracted to the porch lights.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  22. Nature Girl, I know you are having a blast in AZ. I love it out there during winter too. I have been there birding several times.
    I once while in AZ I watched a little boy capture lizards with a fishing pole. He tied a noose at the end of the string and lassoed them. It was funny. He would release them once he played with them.

    Hey Monarch. I can't wait to see more salamanders and lizards on your blog too. Glad you like my lizards

  23. Annie I am actually in zone 6. I keep saying 5. I think this used to be considered 5 is why I say that but if I look at the zone table now it says 6b. I probably have everyone, including myself confused.

    I wish we had geckos zipping up and down our walls eating bugs. Where I used to live we had tree frogs that would stick to the back door window slurping up bugs. We don't have them here. I just miss all those little critters.

  24. Lisa, you told us the right zone - it was my mistake.. Sorry for trying to make you any colder than you already were!


  25. Thanks so much Lisa for helping me identify the birds in our neighbourhood! How exciting to have Cedar Waxwings - I will look them up now and see how I can get them to visit our garden :-}

  26. I haven't seen any salamanders in mmy garden. I have been surprised with a garter snake at eye level in an ilex on our property. Sometimes its all about paying attention. I will do so this year.


  27. We used to have an iquana that we let stroll through the garden from time to time, but no native ones. Much too cold.

    We have some lizards in a cage. Does that count?

  28. We have lizards, mostly geckos, fence lizards and skinks, but none are as colorful as yours. So far this spring I've only seen two lizards and it was impossible to get an ID since they were in the mouth of the roadrunner. He knows where to find them.

  29. No lizards in my garden, I'm afraid... /Katarina

  30. For an avid gardener, I'm not to comfortable with the wildlife that shares my garden with me. I prefer your multicolored guy to the real thing.

  31. I can't even imagine having a lizard in my garden here in Pennsylvania. a snake is the closest I've come.
    I love the photo of your colorful "fake" lizard... maybe I should get one of those!

  32. I love your lizards! We only see the little salamanders and orange newts here.
    While growing up in Australia, I used to see some beauties in our back yard....mostly frill necks. My mum enjoyed them and used to feed them hamburger.


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