Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Quiet Vegetarian

Shingleback eating flowers
While out in the woods today I came across this little guy, a shingleback lizard. I see these animals most days I am out in the local woods, but usually I just say hello and walk on by, leaving them in peace. They are such quiet, passive animals, and almost completely vegetarian.

I could see this one from way off as I walked along a dirt road. It was struggling to pull down the long stems of a feral weed, a crucifer of some sort, to get at the flowers. But as it has such short legs and toes it could barely bend the stems over. So I pulled a few flower stalks and presented them to it. The shingleback took them straight away, no fear. I carried on chatting to it and gathered a heap of flower heads. Soon it was  eating out of my hand, it's lips touching my fingers as I held the stalks so it could pull off all the rich protein-filled parts of the flowers. 

A marvelous experience, to be trusted like that.