Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Fence Lizards of Laurel Lane

They're back -- the tiny dinosaurs. And wouldn't you know, when I returned from my trip to Joshua Tree, even as I stepped though the front gate, there he was, Huey! sitting on his favorite rock (honest.) And he was, of course, thrilled to hear that he'd been named "Fence Lizard of the Year"(see post of 1/6/11.) He looked up at me with bright eyes and cocked his head as if to say, "Gee thanks; that's rad! And so, now -- gimme a meal worm!"

One way to tell the lizzies apart is by their tails. They tend to loose them, or parts of them, to predators, and the regrowth is different than their normal scaly skin: it's smooth and gray. Slinky is a muscular male who darts with force across the rocks. His tail is tipped with a one-inch regrowth. Sometimes, when he's competing with another male for territory, he turns a brilliant shade of blue. Lady Gaga has more highly defined patterns on her back than the others, and her fully regown tail often sticks up at an odd 45-degree angle.

Huey's tail is intact, and he's the only one who jumps off the rocks and waddles down the path to greet me. He often climbs up on my shoe. This is the second year I've been feeding the lizards meal worms, and I'm truly amazed that I'm able to recognize them, and that these same fence lizards have returned.


  1. Hi Aneet,

    Isn't it amazing how reptiles know who their friends are? Just like dogs and cats, they have a sense about people. Nature is truly interesting!

    Great shot of Huey on your foot. Any sightings of Scuttlebutt or Grandpa Max?

    Jon :)

  2. Anitra,

    There see!! You followed up with Huey very nicely!! I never really thought much about lizards, but your photos really show the amazing colors that reflect off their bodies, and these actually seem to be very friendly.

    Mark :-)

  3. Hi Jonathan,

    Lovely to hear from you. I so appreciate that you have a special bond with animals and are aware of their sensitivities.

    Actually, Huey and Hugo Ernest Scuttlebutt are one and the same. I guess I should make that clearer on my post. And as for Grandpa Max...well, we haven't been seeing him around these days. He may have gone to meet his sun splashed rock in the sky.

    Anyhow, Jonathan, hope you're having a good week. Sending my best wishes your way, ~ Aneet

  4. Mark,

    Aww, thanks so much for your comment. I chuckled when I read it. If I'd had the wherewithall, it would have been fun to have depicted them devouring a town, as you had suggested, but these are the real deal. You mentioned the lizard's colors. I don't know if you clicked on slinky, the blue lizard's, photo, to enlarge it, but it's much more striking that way.

    Lizards, by nature, need to be skittish and shy, but these are a rare group. So enjoyed your warm and thoughtful message, Mark. Sending my good wishes your way :) ~ Aneet

  5. Well, I don't normally do this sort of thing but I happened upon your blog after looking up your name. I was just watching Columbo on DVD and saw you on there with Jack Cassidy and thought I recognised you. As it turns out, I'm pretty sure I remember you from the Price is Right.

    Anyway, as I said, I stumbled onto your blog and was sort of interested in the photography. I used to be a professional photographer and I just wanted to say that your stuff is really good! I've become one of your legion of admirers, I guess! :-)

    It's also nice to see that you're a real person... I like that...

    "Salut, bonjour" from Canada!


  6. Hello Dave,

    What a treat to hear from you. I'm so glad that you decided to say hello. Coming from a professional photographer, I'm honored by your complement.

    It's interesting to know that The Price is Right airs in Canada. I love the fact that the Internet brings people from near and far together. And, oh, by the way, did you know that Steven Spielberg directed that episode of Columbo?

    Again, so glad you said hello, and welcome!
    ~ Anitra

  7. And Dave, in case you check in again, I wanted to say, the fact that you called me a 'reall' person means a lot :) Wishing you well, ~ Aneet

  8. Hi Anitra
    must say that these are some of my favorite Photos!
    I love nature,and how Blessed we are with this world
    we live in.I want like YOU,to enjoy the simple things in someone said on one of your post,that you are
    a real person,That I knew the minute that i saw this Blog
    LOL Roger

  9. Roger,

    It's delightful to hear from you. I'm so glad you like my tiny dinosaurs. Yes, there are so many treasures all around us.

    As someone once told me, living a simple life can be very complicated. My wish is that we all could tap into these simple things.

    As I've said before, being called a real person is a true complement. I think the quality has to be possessed by the viewer :)

    Roger, thank you for your insights and kind words. My Best Wishes, ~ Aneet

  10. Jonathan ChesterJune 14, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Anitra, I really must echo those words of you being thought of as a "real" person. It's one thing for me to think of you as the worlds most beautiful woman but another thing to have the opportunity to get to know you in some way through your blog and see that not only are you incredibly talented with photography and poetry, but to see that you're real and down to earth! I'm sure all the viewers on your blog will agree with me on this!

    Jonathan :)

  11. Aneet,

    My wife is a bit horrified by the picture of the lizard on your foot! We're from the midwest y'see and so we have never gained a comfort level with them. We have one who lives in our backyard (and watched me barbeque dinner tonight) and I subscribe to the 'your stay in your space, I stay in my space' theory! But I am grateful for his bug eating, true...


  12. Hi Jonathan,

    Oh, gosh, thank you for your generous complements. They are a lot to live up to. I think we perceive in others those qualities we ourselves possess.

    On another note, SB has been getting waves of fog and I've been having trouble getting On-line. So if this cuts out, you'll know why.

    Meahwhile, I appreciate you kindness, Jonathan, and am glad you're part of this blog. My regards, ~ Aneet

  13. Tom,

    Your comment made me chuckle. Your wife isn't the first person I know of to wince at lizards. I guess growing up in this area, and catching lizards at summer camp when I was a kid, is one reason why I think they're cute. I can see how one would find them kind of creepy. I hadn't thought much about them for years, until last summer when a friend gave me some meal worms to feed them. The whole thing is a bit odd and quite different from showing a package of Orville Redenbacher popcorn in front of Door Number Three. But it's also fascinating to observe their reptilian behavior. And keep in mind, I do have on a thick shoe!

    My regards and smiles to you and your wife, ~ Aneet

  14. Hi Aneet! Love the new profile photo! Lizards, spiders and snakes - oh my!

    Ditto re Jonathan Chester's comment! Enjoy tomorrow!


  15. Hi Bits,

    I so enjoy hearing from you. Glad you like the new photo. It's nice to make changes from time to time. You are always so observant.

    I take it that the lizzies aren't quite your style :)

    And thank you for your sweet words. Be well, lovly lady, ~ Aneet

  16. Anitra,

    Your comment about the lizards devouring the town made ME chuckle!! We need to perfect our Photoshop skills!! LOL!!

    I also love the profile pic. Back in your TPiR days, CBS sent me a similar autographed photo, but your hand was in your hair. I think it was used in the opening shot of "The Longest Yard". I also had one with you in a tennis outfit, and one in a negligee, I think from "The Big Bird Cage" (?, both autographed.

    have no idea what happened to them. Sure wish I still had them. the posts, as always!!

    Mark :-)


    Mark, hello, hello,

    Yes, your idea was great. When I think of Photoshop, which I love, the word devour surfaces again, as PS has a way of consuming hours and days.

    Hearing that you received one of my autographed photos in the 70s, took me on a journey through time. I recall getting home after taping TPIR, and reading all my fan mail, then autographing photos. I recall sending them myself. But maybe I gave them back to CBS to mail.

    You have an astute eye. This new profile pic was shot at the same sitting as the photo with my hand in my hair. And yes, that was the same one used in TLY. Someetimes I think there is a psychic element involved with communicating On-line. The tennis photo you mentioned, I had been considering posting this week.

    I so enjoy your messages, Mark. Sending my good wishes your way, ~ Aneet

  18. Yes!! Please do post that photo!! I would love to see it again!! Funny that you were thinking of it too!! So many great memories!!

    I'm wondering now if the photos may have come directly from you and not CBS. If that's the case, I feel even worse that they are gone.

    Mark :-)

  19. Hello Mark,

    I'm working on putting that tennis photo on my Web page. It's been blank until now. It may take me another week or so before I have it posted properly.

    I do think it's more likely than not that I sent those photos. Most of the things we collect over the years have a way of disappearing. It's amazing that any of them survive.

    The good news is: we're still here!

    It's nice to hear from you Mark. I always appreciate your feedback.

    My Regards, ~ Aneet

  20. Yes!! We're here, and at least we haven't gotten to the point where we've lost our memories!! Let's hope we never do!!

    Always so greatful to hear from YOU!! And I look forward to the photo!!

    Mark :-)


    Hello Mark,

    I second your sentiments and send back smiles. ~ Aneet

  22. 'Neet, while I've yet to become acquainted with mini-dinos like yours, I must say that little blue chap looks like he'd be a dandy friend!

    If I didn't know better, I'd swear that those critters are actually hamming it up for your camera - testimony enough about your photo skills. National Geographic would go nuts over some of your pics, methinks.

    More, please!!

  23. Chris, hello, hello,

    Good to hear from you. Glad you like my lizzie clan. It's rare to see one turn blue. I only catch that once or twice a year, and usually within 20 minutes, he turns gray again. I enjoy your perceptions. These little dinos have grown unusually tame. It's amazing what feeding a critter a good square meal can do -- or, in this case, a squiggly snack.

    Wanted to congratulate you again on getting your blog up and running. You obviously have quite a bit of mastery with that.

    Seding my regards, ~ Aneet