This is Larry

Or it might be Lucy.  I’ve never been very good at determining the sex of alligator lizards (nor any other reptile).  In our home, they are all named Larry.

Larry the Lizard
As I am not a herpetologist, this might not even be an alligator lizard — but since that’s what I’ve called them since I was a kid I’ll stick with that for consistency.

Larry is relaxing in our front garden probably looking for lunch.  Or maybe getting ready to take a nap after lunch.  We don’t use pesticides (or herbicides), so Larry has plenty of menu options to choose from.

I’d wager that a majority of folks in our neighborhood don’t realize we have lizards and snakes around here in the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon.

Deer and turkeys and squirrels?  Yes.  Joggers and bicyclists?  Yes (though only some are classified as wildlife).  Lizards and snakes (and chipmunks and bats)?  Who knew?  We knew, because they’ve been inside our home on a regular basis.  Why are they inside our home?  I’ll tell the story in the next post — hint, it will be about Sam.

So it was nice to see Larry outside for a change.  A few years ago, early spring, I came across a dried skin which Uncle Larry had recently shed in our walk-in closet, very near to my wife’s shoes.  Uncle Larry had apparently over-wintered in our closet and decided it was time to roam the house to search for a meal.  The lady of the house was not impressed.

Although we name all the lizards Larry, we do differentiate them based on relative size (nose to tail).

Little Larry is small, typically three to five inches.  Larry is normal size, five to eight inches.  Uncle Larry is into the large category, up to 12 inches.  Then there is Grandpa Larry, sometimes referred to as Godzilla.

Grandpa Larry can be somewhat intimidating, especially when he’s taken over one of the top stairs looking down and you’re on the way up — and you don’t see him until you’re at eye level — and then he starts hissing at you.  That’s usually when I hear my name being called, loudly, possibly accompanied by a stifled (or not) scream.

So please stay outside, Larry.  Try the snails and slugs, I understand they are pretty tasty.

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