May 1, 2008

It’s one of those moments all fathers relish, a right of passage if you will. The passing on of a skill from one generation to the other. A tear is shed. Today I took my son lizard fishing.

That’s right, in my house we fish for lizards. Some 800 years ago, when I was just a lad, we didn’t have video games of lizards. We caught real ones. I caught hundreds of “blue bellies” also known as the Fence Swift, the most common lizard in these parts…perhaps in the world. They have blue and black streaks across their white bellies and do push ups in the sun.

Anyways, my son Ed (who didn’t know that Blue Bellies were about as common as houseflies) found a lizard basking in the sun and called me outside. I ran upstairs, grabbed a spool of thread and made a slip-knot (slip-knots are a lesson for another time) then let out about four feet of thread.

Lizards are dumb. They don’t generally run away unless you get within a four foot range. Probably poor eye-site or just hoping their brown camouflage throws you by sitting still. They’ll sit there as you work the loop over their head from far above. Once the slip-knot is around the neck, they can run off all they want because you’ve got em’.

Ed (age 4) screamed and cheered as I (age 41) hopped up and down with my catch. He had a tail about half the size of a normal Fence Swift so he must have lost it some time last summer. Their tails come off pretty easily at the base and nerves in the tail wiggle so a predator will work on the tail while the lizard runs away. Genius! I mean, Random Mutation!

We got one of my aquariums out of the garage and put a layer of sand down, added a rock, up-ended a water-bottle lid to act as a trough and found some crickets in the garage for food. Now we wait…because this is the fattest blue belly I’ve ever seen and I have a feeling she’s pregnant.


14 Responses to “PET LIZARD!”

  1. AwwwBucketHead Says:

    That sounds like a lot of fun.

    On a side note, it’s not really a random mutation if they developed this way to increase survivability.

  2. Gloria Says:

    Haha, awesome.
    My husband used to catch those guys too when he was a kid back in So Cal.
    I don’t have a lot of experience catching lizards, but one time a skink ran up my leg when I lived in Oklahoma.

  3. lemm Says:

    Lizard wrangling. :)

  4. Machete_Bear Says:

    “They have blue and black streaks across their white bellies and do push ups in the sun.”

    Sounds like some sort of football-crazy, sun-crisped, beer swilling uncle.

  5. tennapel Says:

    ” it’s not really a random mutation if they developed this way to increase survivability.”

    The development to increase survivability is either random mutation or purposeful design. Darwin claims all changes in the animal are random, survivability of the mutated trait is the Natural Selection process.

  6. AwwwBucketHead Says:

    God made bananas to be eaten by humans. It’s true. I’ve seen video evidence.

  7. tennapel Says:

    …or maybe man made God to be eaten by bananas. Though, there is no empirical evidence of this it’s widely believed in the lab.

  8. blackcat12 Says:

    That’s great, Doug!

    On the other hand, can wild lizards adjust to life like that without dying right away? (I really don’t know anything about lizards) I hope so….

  9. tennapel Says:

    THese kinds of lizards are tough. But I intend to let him go back into the yard eventually. I want so see if she gives up eggs or is just a really fat lizard.

  10. Faded-Myth Says:

    Fingers crossed she’s preggers =D

    Lizards are pretty awesome critters. I worked for the Museum of Western Australia as an assistant paleontologist for a while, and I took up a job in my spare time of helping out with the live lizards we had in the visitor’s centre, purely because it was a lot of fun feeding them and looking after them, getting them out and scaring little kids with ’em.

    ‘Course, the best part about that job was helping to put up a Tyrannosaurus skeleton. Little bit bigger than a lizard, and about a zillion times heavier…

    But yeah. Great to hear your sharing your passion of lizard-things with your son =)

  11. Frank Says:

    we have fish and recently had baby sword tails — my little girls demanded that themommy and daddy sword tails get married so my older son humored them by holding a mock wedding ceremony. :) He told me “I already run a funeral service for small animals.”

    Congrats Doug!!!

  12. Trustthapo Says:

    Wow, makes me think of my salamanders, except the discovery was the other way around. I was kicking around a previous hunting camp, and my dad rolled over a firewood log.
    He was grinning like an idiot when I picked up the two South-Eastern Slimy Salamanders…and I still keep salamanders. They practically inspired me to get into Herpetology.
    Next goal: Catch an Eastern Newt! ..or at least an eft, lol
    (I’ve caught several Fence lizards before. They bite like there’s no tomorrow e_e )

  13. What a good and fair post! All these burgers and pancakes are junk food. And these cause bad effect on body and mind.
    Hypnotism for Weight Loss

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