Garden Tails

Our household is in mourning. Last week we buried Little Bob. It was a very sad day.


Little Bob looking a bit grumpy having just woken up after his long winter sleep.


I’ve written about Little Bob the bobtail lizard before. He was one of three bobtail lizards that call our garden home.  He was the smallest at only 20cm long nose to tail, hence his name, and he was the one we’d see the most often on our patio in summer or in the pile of old wood behind the shed in winter. Last Autumn I accidentally clipped him with the whipper snipper. He recovered nicely but lost the use of one his back legs which meant he wasn’t as mobile as he once was.  I felt really guilty about that and decided to take a bit more care of him. So I’d hand feed him snails and bits of fruit and he became quite tame. Every now and again he’d get stuck in one of the cavernous holes the dog digs and I’d give him a helping hand at getting out and back under cover. The Nan Keen Kestrels who  sit on our TV aerial would have made short work of him if they’d seen him stuck in a hole.


Take Cover! Incoming! Nankeen kestra (Falco cenchroides cenchroides), York, Western Australia.


So it was with great sadness that I found him dead in our drive. From the look of him – flat and crispy – I realised I’d run him over. So I buried him under the peppercorn tree with full honours, well it was just me and a shovel.


Big Bob doing his best snake impression on the back patio.


Yesterday Big Bob – so called because he’s nearly 40cm long and that is big for a bobtail lizard – came out from under the house to sun himself and have a strawberry. It was nice to see him, but he’s not the same. He’s got a lot of attitude and even the dog gives him a wide berth. The limit of his sociality is taking a bit of fruit. You definitely don’t want to pick him up if you value your fingers.