Sunday, April 09, 2006

This Little Guy

Glenda in the Land of Oz found this little guy in her garden. He isn't fully grown, but you get the idea. Those who don't live down here in the Southwest may not know what species this is. It's a horned lizard, but we call them "horny toads." (Oh, grow up! It's because of the little horns on top of their heads.)

Here's one that's grown. It's a picture from a museum exhibit. That's because these little guys are now an endangered species. Note that he's camoflauged himself. Another trait they have is squirting blood from their eyes when threatened. That tends to scare the heck out of the raptors that feed on them. What do horny toads eat? Mostly ants.

When I was a kid, horny toads were everywhere. The most fun thing about them, to us kids, anyway, was that you could rub their bellies and they would go to sleep!

Those of you who remember my old blog, OkeyDokey, Let's Get Started, may recall this story. One night Mother went into my brother's room to check on him. She was in her bare feet, by the way - that's important if you're a woman - and my brother told her not to step on his horny toads. Eeeeek! Can you imagine, you're standing there barefooted in the dark and ... oh, too funny. What my brother had done was tie one live horny toad to each of the legs of a cardtable, sort of like hitching a horse to a post. That way, he'd have them to play with the next day. By now, you're getting an inkling of one reason these little guys are endangered.

Anyway, Glenda was rightly thrilled to find one in her garden. I haven't seen one in decades, but then, I don't get out much. :)

I'm already missing horny toads if we make our alleged move to North Carolina. sniffle.