Yesterday we were blessed when one of our garden friends 'popped by'. 'Tonguey', the Blue Tongue Lizard, was lounging beneath our recycling bin when I removed it for emptying. Despite the overhead clamour, he was unworried and allowed me time to collect the camera from within the house before he meandered off into the cover of some flowers beside our driveway.
It has emerged from discussions with our neighbours that we have a colony of blue tongue lizards: the animals have plenty of cover, provided by our gardens, from 'feral' cats in our area, and they have ample places to sun themselves in the warmer weather.
I love the blue-tongues: they help clear my garden of pests such as snails and slugs, causing little damage to the vegetation. However, there are two members of this household who are less enamoured of 'Tonguey'... especially when he is sunning himself on the front doorstep! Gentle 'Tonguey' must wonder what all the commotion is about!
We have been fortunate to have had resident blue-tongue lizards in our past two Sydney homes: there are many, many suburban Sydney-ites who will never have seen these lovely members of the skink family. Blue-tongues can grow to a size of 60 centimetres, although 'Tonguey' measured just 25 centimetres... a strapping young lizard, indeed.
Blue-tongues will bite if handled, but they are not venomous. In fact, if they sense any danger they are content to wend their way slowly to a safe haven.
If only my photos could have shown you the beautiful, flashing, blue tongue...