Lizards and skinks are plentiful throughout our area, particularly this time of year. They seemed to be basking in the sun everywhere I looked on a recent photo hike.I followed an eastern fence lizard, also known as a pine lizard, as it scampered through an upland habitat loaded with pine and oak trees. As it jumped on the side of a tree, it became incredibly difficult to spot because of its gray and brown camouflaging.
Skinks are in the same family as lizards but there are differences — they have smooth skin and are also a bit more cylindrical in shape, prone to moving in a more snake-like fashion. This broad-head skink was stretched out on a rotting log gathering energy from the morning sun to warm its cold-blooded body, perhaps to ready itself to hunt insects.
One of my favorite lizards is the green anole, a very territorial creature. Unfortunately, the highly invasive brown anole from Cuba has sharply reduced the green anole’s population, especially in urban areas.
Both skinks and lizards have detachable tails to use as a survival tactic. A detached wiggling tail gives the lizards a chance to escape a predator. If the reptile escapes, its tail will grow back.