Lizards, Bees and Butterflies
A favorite story are my childhood days spent on the sun warmed sidewalks of southern California. The warmed sidewalks always brought out the reptiles to bask when I was a little girl. Blue belly lizards were a favorite lizard to catch and hold and wonder over. They were sleek and beautiful, a streamlined flash of blue silver. It was a terror catching them, however. If you were not quick enough and missed the body, instead closing in on the tail, then that was all you were left holding. It was gruesome and, at least for me, dealt a brutal but necessary blow on an innocent conscience at an early age regarding cruelty to animals. Many of the front yards and the berm between the sidewalk and street were landscaped with tiny flowering succulents that attracted bugs, beetles, snails and lizards. Many a sunny day would we small children squat patiently waiting and watching a lizard carefully emerge from the dense matte of foliage, cock it's head this way and that, then strike out at a fly, moth or some other bug. Enormous black and yellow striped bumble bees bumbled their way through the dense and fragrant rosemary ground cover. My girlfriend's little dachshund, Gidget, used to lay in wait for a bee. When one ventured too close, "SNAP!" There followed a lot more snapping until the poor bee was virtually mouthed to death. It was quite a feat for the little dog. Up from the canyon the warm winds brought beautiful migratory butterflies that would alight on the many colored flowering ice plant, wild anise, bottlebrush and hibiscus. It was such a joy to marvel at the "eyes" of the monarch butterflies; velvety blue, orange, and red drops of color ringed in black on wings of brilliant yellow.