Friday, July 4, 2008

Encounter with a Horned Lizard

When out this evening watering, I encountered an interesting little guy, a Horned Lizard, commonly referred to as a "Horny Toad", sunning himself on a concrete stepping stone that had been left in the part of my yard where the original desert cactus live- the ones that probably predate my early 60's home. This lizard, is not a toad at all, only called that because of the body shape similarity. There are many species of Horned Lizards, but the one found here in the Sonoran Desert is the Phrynosoma platyrhinos. They feed primarily on ants, so this one has plenty of food, as I've discovered numerous little ant hills around the area. They are fairly gentle- my son says hes caught them before- but according to Wikipedia if they do feel threatened they will puff themselves up with air and can even spit blood from their eyes- how's that for a trick!!!
He was something to see, with his horned head and fat toad like body- after living here almost 14 years this was my first up close encounter with one of these creatures! After he posed for his picture, he scurried off under one of the cactus- I hope to see him later in the summer!

We are in for rain tonight- check out the picture of the Sky! Lots of thunder and lightening going on now- I'm not sure what that will do to the local fireworks show that should be starting in an hour or so but bring on the rain anyway!


Aiyana said...

When I was a kid and going to Camp Fire Girl camp near Prescott, we used to see a lot of these. I would ususally catch one and bring it home, but they always disappeared. I've lived in the Phoenix area my whole life, and I've never seen one of these down here. I think Phoenix may be too hot. I've always thought they were adorable.

John said...

Wow..I haven't seen one of those in Vegas yet. The stormy sky pic is really cool also. Great blog!

Barbee' said...

We had welcome rain on the 4th, also. Cute little garden helper. I wish they could live here; the ants are driving me crazy. They get all over me when I am trying to weed.