Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Lucky Little Lizard

Do you know how difficult it is to photograph a skink? My garden has hundreds of them! In fact, skinks are very common in suburban Sydney yards. Yet, they are exceedingly difficult to photograph. They scurry along pathways or scamper up fences, quickly seeking refuge when they feel the least bit threatened.

Out of harm's way!
So, how lucky was I to obtain this posed photograph of a Fence Skink? It was not I who was lucky… it was the skink!

Fence skinks are designed to clamber up vertical surfaces, such as trees… or walls… or fences, as the name implies… Not plastic buckets!

So after watering a sprouting crop of sweet corn this morning, I walked back to the tap, camera in hand by chance, to turn off the tap timer and the tap itself. There, in the plastic bucket below the tap was this unfortunate Fence Skink attempting to swim for dear life in a few centimetres of water. Now I am fairly certain that skinks were not designed to swim either… so the poor little animal was ‘on his last legs’ when a wrinkly hand was placed into the bucket and gently lifted him out, placing him on the edge of the retaining wall. He did not scurry or scamper or clamber. He just sat there waiting patiently for his photos to be taken… my reward for good service to skinks!

Mind you, the poor creature was probably exhausted from his exertions in trying to escape the bucket… Or was he just playing dead!
Ready to scamper

Fence skinks are one of several skink species in the Sydney suburbs. They are recognisable by the white stripes running almost the length of their bodies. Their diet consists of insects, which makes them a desirable resident in my garden. This little fellow was about six or seven centimetres long, which is close to the adult size of about eight centimetres.


The lucky little lizard has learned one of life’s lessons: do not fall from a masonry wall when there is a plastic bucket of water beneath.  

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