Lacerta Vivipara Flexilis

Posted By on 27th June 2023

As a regular gardener I have dug up a few ‘interesting’ things over the years.

Remember the sporting medal in 2016, (taken next to a tennis ball for scale)

or perhaps the old boot in 2021

(and again for scale)

and who could forget the gravestones from 2020

found in the garden of Number 14

which I incorporated into my new garden wall.

More recently I dug up Peter’s wedding ring which I had lost 12 months earlier whilst working on the allotment. That really was an amazing stroke of luck.

So I was sitting in my back garden last week enjoying a sandwich in the sunshine, when something caught my eye.

My first thought was that it was a frog, or more probably a toad given its size, and yet I wasn’t convinced.

I sat quietly for a few minutes, but it didn’t move, and as I know some animals ‘play dead’ when they perceive danger, I hoped that would give me chance to go inside and get my phone.

On my return I hurriedly took this photo.

By this time I could see that it wasn’t a frog or toad because it had a long tale, so I decided it must be a lizard, and quite a big one too.

I left it for a while, but when I went back it still hadn’t moved, so I got a bit braver, had a closer look and decided it was either dead, or not real, but either way where had it come from?

I took another photo.

In the end I prodded it gingerly with my finger. It was rubber! A child’s toy!!

But where had it come from?

I know it wasn’t there the previous day because I’d picked some strawberries for my tea and it was right amongst them.

Nor was it there first thing in the morning, there had been no children in the park and I had been the only person in the back garden during the relevant time.

We have red kites and other birds ot prey in the area, so the best explanation I can come up with, in fact the only explanation, is that it was dropped by a passing raptor who, like me, had been fooled into thinking it was real!

And just to continue the ‘scaley’ theme, no pun intended, (ok, maybe just a little one!) it’s 12″long.

And I’ve learnt a new word Herpetology

“a branch of zoology that deals with the study of amphibians and reptiles”

And I’ve discovered a new species,

Lacerta vivipara flexilis

Common Rubber Lizard

Every day’s a school day!!

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