I went for a hike today at Madera Canyon. Not a long hike, just over 3 miles round trip, but a pretty steep trail for an old fart hefting an extra 20 or 25 pounds in a pack on his back. Still though, it was Paradise. The temps were in the mid to high 60s, and it was enough to bring out the lizards. At least it was enough to bring out some spiny lizards, I think they were yarrow's Spiny Lizards. Well I have a photo of one here for you to gawk at. Pretty colors, even prettier during mating season when the males take on some awesome blue hues on their dorsal scales. They also have a year round blue throat patch. This little guy was almost friendly. I saw him near the bottom of the trail on my walk down the mountain. Actually I heard him first as I walked by and he scampered through the dry leaves and under a rock (into that shady area to his left). A second or two of me waiting and he was already back out from hiding! These guys are pretty brazen, and this one should know better. Notice the duller rear half of its tail? That section of tail was lost and has regenerated. probably grabbed by a predator like a bird or snake, and the tail broke off still wriggling while the rest of the lizard scampered away to safety.
I saw a couple of others too, and I also got photos of them. it is a royal pain in the rear to post pics from the hotel computer, they only allow MS Paint to edit it. They do not have a photo editing program. I am sure there is one on the PC, they just do not have it set up to use it.
Maybe next time I'll get lucky and see a rattler.
All the best,
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