Help! I am obsessed. I thought I knew who he was. Sun lover soaking up the rays on his wood deck. Late riser. Early to bed. What else should I have known...?
I am missing someone. Well it's not a person. So is someone still the right term? I may have an obsession... The definition of the word says that an obsession is being overly interested in some one or something in an abnormal way. Well that seems accurate. I have an obsession then, because I am missing a very tiny individual that I don't know very well and know very little about.
Odder still, is the fact that who I am missing is a lizard. My fence lizard, the one I already wrote about, lives on the entrance fence to Bernie's farm.
We left North Carolina to come up to Massachusetts for July and August. In June before I left, I was observing this little lizard on an almost daily basis.
I would look for him on the fence each time I would come and go from the cabin. I'd note the time I'd see him and when I didn't.
He was not an early riser. He went to bed early. I never would see him before 9am. After 6pm he was gone from the fence. Between 10:30am and 2pm was a good bet for a positive sighting. At that time the sun shone on his section of fence and he was often in the middle soaking it up.
He worked his way into out dinner conversations and hearts. And of course he was now in my painting and writing as well. “Did you see the fence lizard today?” one of us would invariably ask at dinner. Or sometimes I would just volunteer the information.
We named him Dudicle (pronounced dude – ickle) as in “little dude”. Very manly.
When I left the cabin to go to Massachusetts, I knew I was going to miss Dudicle. His intelligent eye, his head cock, his little stare. His quick maneuver to the other side of his post or rail. He was new to me and I was just slowly getting acquainted with him. He was not a pet. He was my neighbor.
I wondered. What did he eat? Where did he sleep? Would he get more chummy towards me? Habituate? Recognize me? Distinguish me from other humans? I wanted to get a lawn chair, umbrella and notebook. Just sit with him taking notes for a day or two. See if I could answer some of my own questions.
At least get a “comings and goings” log, like any good surveillance detective.
08:37: at post, no lizard
08:49: still no lizard
09:17: no lizard, getting hot
09:52: no lizard, damn hot, forgot water
10:26: lizard emerged from crack in left post
13:10: subject on the move, further to the left on fence, back into full sun
14:52: lizard still in sun, lightheaded, hard to concentrate on sleeping subject
15:26: whew, subject on the move heading to crack in left rail
Instead, I saw him a final time as I headed out the gate for Massachusetts. I hope he's still there. I miss him. I can't wait to go home to get to know him better. Maybe carry out that bit of lizard surveillance.
In the meantime I've done a background check on fence lizards. I learned that Dudicle, (remember, short for “little dude”) would have to be renamed. Henceforth, I must call her Dudette as in little dudess. Damn! My fence lizard is a female!
Turns out, she is quite a lady. She is a preferred mate choice, a real beauty to a male fence lizard. I know this because she has no blue patches on her undersides. Three quarters of the females do. The males prefer no blue. She is therefore more desirable and fertile than most female fence lizards.
I also learned that she eats ants, stink bugs and other insects. So I am not too worried that she will move on for lack of sustenance. I worry, though, about the copperheads and black snakes she may encounter. I've seen both in the area.
I shall just hope for the best. I'll do my best to file a fence lizard report when I get back to the cabin. So do you think this is an obsession?