Saturday, April 13, 2013

What Am I?

I saw this mercurial creature on my hike two days ago in Staunton River State Park.  It took me persistence and moving at a slow pace, but I was able to get some photos eventually.  See if you can figure it out, but I warn you, this is not an easy one at all!

You humans say my blood runs cold
I say that statement's rather bold!

I just follow natural rule:
My red blood might be warm or cool

My skin is coated in small scales
From tip of snout to end of tail

With my four legs I move quite well;
Unlike a turtle, I have no shell.

I move around as I do please
I climb up trees with complete ease

I'm half a foot or more in size,
On full alert to stay demise

Because I could be tasty meal
For many creatures - that's for real!

Light brownish color is my base
What, puzzled look upon your face?

I've wavy bands across my back
Of lighter color and of black

The bands turn orangish near my tail
Are you now close? Will you prevail?

This one is tough, in your defence
Take your guess now, I'll end suspense!

Hopefully, you
now have enough
clues to at least
get the kind of
animal, if not
the exact species.
for the

If you guessed northern fence lizard
I think you're probably a wizard!

There are relatively few kinds of lizards in Virginia, and this must be the biggest.  They are expert climbers, and like a squirrel, will continually move to the other side of the tree as you try to get a good look.  But eventually, this one - a female based on the coloration - settled down and I was able to get some photos of her.  It was pretty neat!


  1. I guessed a lizard but had no idea of the kind.
    Wow, does he blend in!! You can barely see him.
    The pictures are terrific. I'm surprised you even spotted him on the tree.

  2. Hey, Karen. Even guessing a lizard is pretty good with this one. Yes, it sure blended in well. Those wavy patterns on her back mimic bark, I think. I only spotted it because I saw it run out of the corner of my eye and heard it scurry up the tree. It took me a good five minutes to get a view of her. It kept moving around the tree like a squirrel. But I was slow and cautious and I guess at some point she felt like I could not see her. I saw two more on the hike but more briefly.