Tailless

Many creatures can lose an appendage and not die. A starfish can lose a leg, or 3, and regenerate it. Even the arm can become a new starfish. I did not know spiders could regrow a leg! We know sharks continually lose and replace teeth (evidenced by this summer along my coast). Planaria– those cellular things we looked at under a microscope in high school biology –can create an entire new creature from each piece cut away from the original. And the one we all know, lizards (geckos, anoles, etc.) can grow a new tail if all or part breaks off.

One of these latter found its way on my sun porch. I was on the phone and my rescue dog Lily was close behind me. It was up on the screen and it took a minute to realize it was on the inside. Probably would have been fine, minding its own business but knowing Lily’s capabilities and appetite for the new and different I thought it would be better off if I caught it and took it outside.

Mistake.

First, do you know how hard it is to actually lay hands on one of these? Then when you have it the little thing wriggles out of your (however light so as to not squeeze it to death) grasp till all you have is its tail, which it breaks off by swaying rapidly back and forth. Maybe it does this intentionally. Lily made quick work of the still-wriggling tail while I tried to gently capture it again. Success, opening the door, placed hand on the rail by the steps and it wouldn’t jump off. No matter how many ways I turned my hand it trotted back up my wrist as though that which would save it (anywhere off my arm/hand) was more of a danger than I. Flattering but not my intention for the little thing. Lily caught on to what was happening and raced by me to place her massive open jaws underneath my hand should he misstep and fall into them. He saw this and jumped off to the safety of the brickwork that is my house.

Success.

I imagine he will have quite a tale to tell all his friends.

http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0768606.html

Chameleon capers

Probably more something like gecko gambols or skink skaters. Whatever these little lizards are they fascinate my rescue husky mix Lily.

They first started showing up late spring when I put meal worms out for the nesting blue birds. There were 2 mainly, a smaller one and the larger one who was molting. Anyway, anytime I went out into the backyard or even on the sun porch which I have to go through to get to the backyard Lily is pushing her way out the door to dash into the yard scouting for these little guys.

They aren’t afraid, either. She can be 2-3 inches away, they are camouflaging themselves in the bright green cardinal vine while Lily pokes between the flower pots on the patio. When I realized they were hoping for a meal worm or two I began putting a few on the porch stairs and posts. Shortly after Lily and I return to the house one or both of them will slowly creep out from under the steps, checking to see the coast is clear, then clamber up to where these little roasted worms are and begin chowing down.

Then can really put them away, too. No matter how many of those worms I put they eat them. Every so often if I haven’t put any out I will see one of the little creatures hanging out on the railing waiting for the meal.

These are good guys to have around. They also eat ants, flies, spiders and other annoying bugs. After they have had their fill of whatever it is they eat besides these worms they do their little calisthenics– push-ups, and ballooning the pink skin under their chins with happy thoughts.

I hope some bird doesn’t make a meal of these nicely fattened little guys.

Rain

There is something about some rainy days that gives the impression it has been raining forever. The solid grayness, the steady rainfall, the stillness at the bird feeders, even the flowers look immobile.

Rain heals. It nourishes, it soaks, saturates, fills a dry earth with softness. It encourages sleep, quiet, thoughts, introspection, and comfort foods like a hot steaming bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

It’s like a day of rest. To find a book, work some puzzles, write, listen to a symphony, call a good friend.

Or bake a pie, muffins, a yeasty warm loaf of bread.

Too many of these days creates boredom. Cabin fever, impatience, a need for sun and fresh air.

I avoid the malls on rainy days. A lot of people go there who just want to get out of their house. Whether they buy anything or not doesn’t matter.

I’m going to go make a sandwich now.