They Like to Bask

Despite living in my house since April of 2018, the yard was not completed until the end of May last year. There are a number of reasons for this, but the core issue really came down to time; there was never enough to properly work out which trees would be planted and where, and how much of the yard would be covered by grass. Prior to having plant-life, the house was surrounded primarily by hard dirt and garden stone. The property looked respectable despite its incomplete state, and this was in no small part due to the effort put into pulling weeds every weekend. Undeterred by the desert-like appearance, some wildlife had started to take notice of the arid space, and a pair of long-tailed lizards could be seen on sunny days. They would find a place in the middle of the yard or on the concrete blocks that formed the lower-half of the fence and sit nearly motionless for hours at a time.

Later, when the parched soil had been replaced with greenery, the lizards could still be found. As before, they might stretch their bodies and incredibly long tails on the concrete section of the fence but, more often than not, they could be found enjoying some peace under one of the many dwarf conifers that dot the property.

The Japanese Grass Lizard that basks in the parking area

At some point in the last few months, a third lizard has made itself known. To the best of my knowledge, the three keep to themselves. One stays near the front door. Another is along the southern fence. The newest, and most patient1, enjoys the raised soil area behind the parking space. Not being an expert in lizards – or in any kind of life, really – I cannot guess as to whether the three are related.

As silly as it may seem, I like that these Japanese grass lizards are able to call parts of the yard outside home. It means that this property, perhaps small by human standards, is large enough and flourishing enough to offer these creatures enough comfort and food to enjoy their brief existence. The daytime temperatures this summer are hovering just under 40˚C with forecasters warning of a brutal July and August. This weekend I'll aim to add a small pool to the yard so that these lizards, and other small animals, can enjoy a brief respite from the heat. Hopefully it will be enough.


  1. This third lizard seems not to mind when I come within a metre. It even seemed a little curious about the camera while I was taking pictures, lifting its head as though to get a better view of the lens.