The other day a lizard went splat. It caused quite a stir and it was all very exciting to say the least. At first, we didn’t know what to say or do. A lizard splat just doesn’t happen right in front of you every day.
Here in South Florida we have lots of lizards. Now, do not envision a gazillion lizards scurrying all over the place like ants on a discarded lollipop. Our lizards are small for the most part—about the size of a finger plus a stringy tail if it hasn’t been bitten off by some predator. Yeah, that’s a typical one in the picture below. They are timid and pretty much keep to themselves. These are our common, small, everyday lizards. We have others kinds, too.
We have iguanas like the one pictured below. They can change colors to match their background or mood ring if they’re wearing one. Our iguanas can get pretty big, say about the size of a good roast. Like their smaller cousins, you don’t see these guys taking over the neighborhood anywhere, but it is not unusual to spot one out on the back lawn every now and then…this one here was in my yard last summer. They are harmless despite looking like mini-monsters from another era.
Iguanas like to hang out where there is water. You can seem them sunning themselves on the rocks or bridge supports along the Intracoastal Waterway. They also like to hang around the many canals that cut through the back lawns of residential areas, like the one I have in the back of my house (below).
Then we have really brilliant green lizards about the size of a banana. These are similar to the Geico Insurance Company lizard, except the ones around our house don’t talk. These green beauties occasionally hang out on a tree trunk or successfully camouflage themselves among the leaves. It was one of these green guys that went splat right in front of us–in fact, the one pictured below could actually be the one and only! He looks just like our victim.
So to recap, my wife and I were sitting out on the patio after dinner; I in my thinking chair and she in the co-thinking seat. We were having idle conversation about key issues that would ensure world peace when—all of a sudden out of nowhere—there was this loud splat. It was as if the sound-effects guy we let live in the kitchen had slapped two massive wet towels together. We were both startled, as was the lizard no doubt. There was no other conclusion to make except that he must have fallen straight down from a limb on the tree overhead. It’s quite a big tree; the limb is well above the roof of our two-story house so you can imagine how far and how splatty this little creature traveled.
At first it just stayed there in its splat position, not moving at all. My granddaughter gently poked it with a stick and it scurried under the grill. That was the last we saw it. I assume it survived or else went off somewhere to make final arrangements.
So what to do now? Does one simply move on? Or, does a sudden lizard splat have meaning? Is it some kind of omen? If so, is it a good omen or a bad one? If we investigate and learn more about the splat will we be able to prevent lizard splats from happening in the future? Should we form a cause group of some kind, perhaps The Society for the Prevention of Lizard Splats and then hold a 5K run each spring to raise money? There is so much to think about once a lizard goes splat right before your very eyes. It has changed my life completely, this lizard that went splat. My wife and I have discussed him several times since the fateful event occurred. Oh, by the way, I have since named him Splatter.