Ive lived in the foothills of the Los Angeles Crest Mountains for about 12years. When I first bought my teeny tiny home, my priority was of course my garden. Digging in the sandy Rocky soil, led me to find some odd items and critters; an empty bullet casing, beautiful glass bottles and porcelain toys that I can only imagine were remnants from the legal back yard burnings of the day. Apparently, prior to my ownership, my whole neighborhood was shut down while the bomb squad detonated a live grenade in my yard….. something which was NOT disclosed in the final sale of my house!
As for critters, while digging in my potentially explosive soil, Ive come across the wonderful sci-fi looking Potato Bug, Aka. Jerusalem Cricket, more formally known as Stenopelmatus Fuscus…. but I digress.
My tale today is to relish in the wonder of the Blind Legless Lizard. Quite a thing of beauty. Silvery and shimmery. One can jump back startled on happening upon one as it can be mistaken for a snake with its lack of appendages and slithery movements. But its lidded eyes and external ear openings are an indication of their lizard nature. These reptiles never cease to amaze me. Living in loose soil underground (thus why they reside in my garden) eating insects and larvae.
They seem also to have an interesting defense mechanism of being mildly toxic. While I cant find documentation on this, I can only surmise from my dog and cat’s frothing mouth after molesting the poor things.
One article states that these lizards were only identified in 2013. All this time, I had an undiscovered species in my garden. Damn it!! And I only thought that it was new to me.