Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lizards In Our Garden!

In the Wild West, we have lizards in our garden!  Is that a good thing?  You bet it is!  They eat those pesky squash beetles and other wicked pests. Now that it is hot outside, it's pretty easy to find a lizard or horny toad scampering through the hot desert dirt.  We welcome them to our garden beds and hope they'll stick around and feast abundantly on the obnoxious bugs that kill our plants. 

A couple weeks ago, my daughter and I went outside to begin readying a garden bed for planting. We hadn't even made it all the way to the garden before my daughter noticed a couple lizards doing push-ups near us, and just had to get a closer look!

She ran back into the house and got an extra pair of my garden gloves to wear and an old plastic container to put the lizard in.
With her lizard-catching gear ready, she began her lizard catching!  In the picture above, you can even see the lizard's small body shape next to the bag of mulch in the garden bed, (note to grandma: you may need to get your glasses on, because it is pretty small.)

These lizards may be small, but they are really fast, as she soon found out. So she hiked up her gown and went for it like a true Wild West Gardener!  

She chased that lizard from log to cinderblock!  

But after a few minutes of lizard-chasing in flip-flops and a long ball gown, she hollered out for reinforcements.  The back door to the house swung open, and who should appear to save the day?  Why it was her trusty sidekick, her sister!
She handed over the oversized garden gloves to her sister, 

and with teamwork...

and perseverance...

...the two of them were successful!

They got the close look they were going for, then released this little guy into the strawberry patch for an All-you-can-eat bug buffet. 

So, do YOU want to catch a lizard?  

I interviewed my two mini-professionals for their greatest tips and tricks...

10 Lizard Capturing Tips And Tricks

1. First off, determine if it is poisonous or not.  Just ask your mom.

2. Wear gloves so you don't get scratched up by it's claws.

3. Come up behind it so that doesn't see you but do not grab it by the tail.  If you pull it's tail, it will come off and you will lose your lizard. That tail will wiggle on the ground and freak you out.

4. Do not hold it to tightly or else it will not be able to breathe and it will die.

5. If you corner it in a crack where you can still reach it, you will be able to catch it easier. 

6. Make sure when you release it that you release it into a garden; it will eat the bugs that eat your garden.

7. It's better to catch one when the sun is rising, because they're cold blooded and they are slower when it's not hot. So when it's cold outside, make sure to get your gloves on and search! They will be out more than usual because it is cold outside. They will look for a rock to sun themselves on, so you can see them on rocks sometimes and catch them easier.

8. If you are scared of lizards, you can just take a good look at them and see if you can spot any cool colors on them.  You don't have to catch it.

9. If it bites you, I don't think that it will hurt, because you are wearing gloves. But I don't know, because I haven't had one bite me. 

10. You can put it in a container, just be sure that it has room to walk around and remember to feed it beetles or bugs and some water. Don't keep it too long. Release it right after you had it for about 10 minutes.