Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Great Tabletop Battle

It was time for lunch. As usual, we were heading for the patio, I with a book, a phone, a paper-towel bundle of cheese and crackers, and a diet orange drink, Levi with a tennis ball in his mouth, and Gimpy with only a happy face and a wagging tail. Just before I opened the door, I noticed movement on the patio table--movement that made me set down all my stuff, grab my camera instead, and leave the dogs in the house.

It was lizards. I see lizards all the time, but I'd never seen any like these before, with their brown coloration, black marks behind their eyes, and the dinosaur-looking ridges down the middle of their backs. What the heck were they? And what were they doing on my table?

I sat down at the table right next to them, aimed the camera, and watched as they circled each other.

They were focused. They paid little or no attention to me, even when I reached right between them and picked up the stick (makeshift paperweight) that was on the table.

They moved in closer and closer . . .

. . . and the fight began:

They were already turning green again by the time I started recording: 

The original video file was too large for Blogger, and it took me a long time to figure out how to reduce its size enough to upload it here. It looks fine on my computer, but there doesn't seem to be a way to test it on Blogger without hitting the publish button, so I apologize in advance if the quality isn't good. I also apologize for the wonky moment that happened near the end of the video when I jerked the camera because the loser lizard either (a) leaped or (b) was flung by the winner right at me. The good news is that we all lived to tell about it.

After a little bit of Internet research this afternoon, I've learned that the fierce-looking lizards in this post are the very same, usually mild-mannered, anole lizards that I see every day. Normally they look like this, all sleek, smooth, and green:

It's when they get riled up and stressed out--in a territorial dispute, for instance--that they puff up and morph into their darker, ninja-warrior selves:

I'm not sure what territory they were fighting over, but I can tell you that the loser eventually crawled over the fence, and the winner made his way up into the folds of the patio umbrella.

Afterwards, I ate my lunch right there and played ball with the dogs. I watched for the lizard the whole time, but he never came out.


UPDATE: The resolution on the Blogger video was really bad, so I deleted it and uploaded via YouTube instead. Not great, but much better. Thanks, YouTube!


  1. Wow, they are really fierce, aren't they? It does look prehistoric.

    1. Yes indeed, Annette! In attitude as well as in their fancy fighting outfits.

  2. How cool -- great video, Mom! They look like iguanas. I can't believe I've never seen one like that in all of my 51 years. I guess lizards must not get stressed out very often?

    1. Kim, I've never seen them looking like this, either. It also surprised me to learn, since I see so many lizards, that they actually have territory. Who knew?


Your comments might be the very best thing about blogging. I love it when you care enough to share your thoughts here, so go ahead and say what's on your mind.