Lizard, Milky White

A side view of a molting ornate tree lizard, taken on the Saddlehorn Trail in the Granite Mountain area of McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona in May 2018

When we moved to Arizona I was delighted to find lizards but also a bit baffled at identifying them. On my first visit to the Granite Mountain area I encountered a handful of little lizards in one rock formation on the Saddlehorn Trail but was particularly confused by one that, to my eye, looked milky white. When I brought the telephoto lens to my eye I understood my confusion, the little thing was molting and from some angles the dead skin looked white in the morning sun. I was even more surprised when it ran over to where I was standing, if only we could communicate so I could have offered to help remove the larger tufts. It must feel good when all the dead skin is gone!

An overhead view of a molting ornate tree lizard, taken on the Saddlehorn Trail in the Granite Mountain area of McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona in May 2018

Nature’s Test

A molting greater earless lizard basks in the sun along the Tom's Thumb Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona in April 2018

I had only been in Arizona for three weeks when I met this molting greater earless lizard on the Tom’s Thumb Trail. As I was photographing it a young woman pointed out the lizard to the man hiking with her but he shrugged his shoulders and kept going. Probably that’s nature’s way of telling her that he isn’t worth her time but I suppose there is a remote possibility that you could both be a wonderful person and not fascinated by lizards.