Many years ago we realized that we had a resident Blue Tongue lizard. We would see him at various spots on our small residential block seeking out a corner to sun himself in or looking for a morsel to eat.
We named our new resident Bluey. One day my daughter walked from the hall into the adjoining garage and stepped onto Bluey - 'very soft and squishy' was how she described the sensation.
A while later one of the kids came in from playing outside to report that there was a very flattened Blue Tongue on the road out in front of our place so we sadly farewelled Bluey and forgot about him.
Then one day we noticed another Blue Tongue had moved in and taken up residence and so we called this one Son of Bluey. He has been luckier. Son of Bluey treks across our block under the safety of the verandah which runs around three sides of our house. Our dog can detect his every movement by sound and by smell and has become rather neurotic. We can always tell when Son of Bluey is on the move.
But on the weekend this little fellow came visiting. - We were so excited. Who could it be but - Grandson of Bluey.
He hissed and spat out his little baby blue tongue as I bent close to take his picture. Later in the day the dog tracked down Grandson of Bluey and made such a ruckus that the fearful baby Bluey managed to squeeze between the sliding glass door and the screen and find sanctuary in my bedroom. It took three of us (excluding the dog) and some gentle coaxing to get him back outside.
Tammy from gatorgamez.com has kindly said that I can show you her amazing photo of a blue tongue's tongue in action. (www.flickr.com/photos/
February is the month when baby Blue Tongues are out and about. There are a number of different Blue Tongue lizards In Australia. Ours is the Eastern or common variety. They can grow to 60cm in length.
The lizards are actually from the skink family, Scincidae. They can travel through fifteen backyards and across a number of roads within a day. They smell through their nostrils and through the tongue. In addition to eating snails, slugs, flowers and fruit they can be partial to dog food. My dog is not silly. He knew that.
I have read that blue Tongues can live for thirty years. All going well Grandson of Bluey and I should live to a ripe old age together.
The photos on this post, other than the Flikr Blue Tongue and the ones of mine of Grandson of Bluey, come from the ABC website: abc.net.au/science/scribbleygum/February