Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weeding Could Be Dangerous

As I'm sure has been noticed before, the task of weeding is never over, especially in a garden that is more wild than not. The other day, I set myself to the task of a bout of weeding, attacking a particular rose bed where Dino has planted all the miniature roses. He's also seeded a good number of California poppies, which were completely spent and needed cleaning up. One wouldn't think that weeding would occasion excitement, but I was startled while picking up a pile of weeds to put in the wheelbarrow by a wiggling scurry of Something across my foot. Since I could tell it wasn't a rattlesnake, the only thing that might be found around that area to worry about, I wasn't scared, but in true girly-girl style, I shrieked anyway because I wasn't expecting it. Dino said later that he thought the scream was a coyote in the spring area making a weird noise - I'm not sure if I should feel insulted or complimented by the comparison. My curiosity about what sort of Something made the dash across my foot was answered some time later by finding a Gilbert's Skink under another pile of detritus. These critters are about 5 inches long, excluding the tail, and are relatively heavy-bodied which explains why I really felt it. The breeding adults have that reddish color to the head - so I guess this one fits into that category. I certainly hope I didn't disturb a nest but the reptile book says they lay eggs in midsummer, which I take to mean in July or thereabouts.

Gilbert's Skink - Eumeces gilberti

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