Lizards Unsung To

While Country Mouse wrote here delightful post on Singing To Lizards, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend 5 days at Tassajara monastery. In the summer, Tassajara has a guest season and offers sumptuous food, natural hot springs, and piece and quiet in the beautiful Los Padres National Forest. I went down partly as a guest, and also to offer bodywork sessions to the residents there (see my web site for more information on what I do).

There was much to see and admire, and I'm still sorting through the 70 photos I kept, but today, just a short post about lizards. On our last afternoon at Tassajara, Mr. Mouse and I took a short walk to the waterfalls nearby. The photo above, really a "mistake" as far as the lighting goes, does capture the beautiful falls quite well. After scrambling on the rocks for a bit, we sat down to rest and watch the water for a while.

Then a movement caught my eye: A rather fat, dark lizard on the rocks across the creek. It looked almost iridescent, greenish, like slate.

He did his lizard push-ups, happy and proud on his rock. So close to water, many insects were waiting to become lizard lunch. Making a photo wasn't so easy, though, and I was happy when he moved for better contrast.

And then he climbed up a dead branch, king of the world. But wait, a challenger joined him on the branch, and the two did their push-ups, glared at each other sideways, and did not seem pleased about meeting a kindred soul.

And then, much faster than I could have pressed the release on the camera, Lizard 1 ran toward the challenger and pushed him off the log.

One more look down at the looser.

And peace is restored.

(Now, of course, we all wonder how it would have turned out if I had started to sing...Maybe next time I'll try.)


I was at a job site yesterday where the contractor had just finished installing a beautiful 3 rivers rock retaining wall. Instead of admiring the wall, the client was enthralled by the fact that lizards were already moving in an darting around the rocks. They really can be mesmerizing.
I would have thought that at Tassajara even the reptiles would be peaceful. I guess somebody always has to be the Lizard King!
Anonymous said…
Loved your post almost as much as I love lizards! Sounds like a lovely place.
Five days at Tassajara...sounds amazing! I've never been there though I have The Tassajar Bread Book on my cookbook shelf. The recipes in it tell me that you did not starve.