More Natural World Texas lizard with bent tail on back porch

Texas Lizard with a Right Angle Tail

Sort of making friends with a backyard insect-eating machine.

by Bob Kerstetter

The lizard shows up several months ago. He lives on the back porch. I make sure to spill some water every day in case he needs a drink. We try to make friends.

Fast Lizard

The lizard moves faster than almost any critter in a normal suburban Texas backyard. He sits here a fractional second ago. In the time it takes to push the button he disappears.

Blending Lizard

He flattens against the wall in a location difficult to photograph. He hates social media and hopes his picture never gets posted anywhere.

Talking and Listening Lizard

We chat, then he moves to the yard edge. The lizard lacks trust toward people. You see that tail? Someone, possibly me, broke it. While he may use the hook in some innovative way, broken it remains.

Building Lizard Trust

Moving to the other side, we talk some more. I gradually move closer. This is physically closer, not by zooming the lens.

More Trust and Moving Closer

Not too nervous looking. Just move slowly.

Closer Still

Closer still…

Lizard Pushups

As the camera nears, the lizard does pushups, maybe to relieve tension.

Closing in

Closing in… He’s had enough.

Lizard Run

He runs past some trash and a watering can.

Hiding Lizard

Saying goodbye he zips out of the picture.

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