My sister lived in a suburb outside New York City for many years. She swore they did not have lizards but I’ve never believed it. I suspect it’s one of those little white lies she enjoys holding over my head because, when we were kids, me and my brother chased her around with a roach in a match box. She has an unnatural fear of roaches.

A lot of people won’t garden because of critters. I’m not particularly scared of critters but they do raise my ick factor when they get in the house or show up in the unlikeliest places. For instance, on trash day when I open the lid on my trash can to deposit my trash bag, I sometimes come face to face with green frogs. What’s with that? Why do they choose to hang out in a hot, plastic trash can? Just the other day, they caused me to holler “Get out!” at the top of my lungs.  Instantly, I realized I was the only one who could see the frogs and it looked like I was hollering at my trash can. Nobody in their right mind hollers at the trash can and I’m already on the suspect list for not being in my right mind. I looked around in embarrassment to see if any of the neighbors were watching but the coast was clear.

Anyway, I digress. There is one critter that gives me the willies. A snake. I have been known to send a few to their just rewards with whatever long-handled garden tool was handy. Snakes, therefore, cause me to have problems with all these lizards.

The lizards see me coming and skitter across the leaf mulch at a speed guaranteed to be the envy of race car drivers. They make so much noise clattering over the tops of those dried, brown leaves it raises the hair on my neck to Full Alert. I can’t help myself. I just can’t. Even though I know in my gut it’s only a lizard, my head swivels around and my eyebrows jump to accommodate eyeballs you would see in a horror movie just as the victim realizes she’s about to be hacked to death. It’s like this. All that speed the lizards use to escape ME creates a racket belonging to a much larger critter. Like a snake. So I have to look. We have so many lizards and so much movement it’s a wonder my eyes aren’t stuck in permanent Horror Mode.

We have more weirdo lizards than those plain old green lizards, too.  Some of them are solid black with polka dots which strikes me as plum unnatural. Some have fins, and by golly, that’s all it takes for me to holler “Ewwwwwwww” before I even realize a sound came out of my mouth. Here are two shots of the same lizard with fins that refused to stand still long enough for me to get a sharp photograph.

lizard hump back 1-1582

lizard hump back 2-1584

By the way, that sensation of your neck hairs standing on end is known as ‘goose-flesh.’ The condition of goose-flesh is known as horripilation.