Posted by: adventuressetravels | October 11, 2011

A Hitchhiker of a Different Sort

Every day tiny dust-colored lizards would dash off of the railing where they sunned themselves as I walked down the deck stairs to get my bike.  The warm wet heavy Florida air was the perfect habitat for mosquitoes and little black no-see-ums, these little white-tummied fellows’ food.

I had been trying to catch similar lizards since my childhood when my parents had taken me to Italy for a summer.  There the miniature lizards had sunned themselves on a stone wall right by the apartment we had rented.  Every time I walked back home I would try and catch one.  They would sun themselves, relaxing until the last possible second at which point the little guys would invariably dart into the bushes, just out of reach.

Now, more than 2 decades later, I found myself surrounded by the charming little lizards once more.  Luckily my single-minded need to catch one had long since vanished, but common as they were, watching the delicate figures with their miniscule pebble-like hide cock their heads at my approach waiting until the very last possible second to make a mad dash away from the impending giant never failed to bring a smile to my lips.

My last morning at Sebastian Inlet State Park, I shifted my massive travel backpack to shove some clothes into its cavernous depths, when I noticed a quick movement.   Closer examination revealed a light brown baby lizard doing its best to blend into the hunter green folds with his olive camouflaged skin.

Much as I had wanted to capture a lizard pet in my younger years, a lizard would not make a good travel companion.  He just couldn’t hitch a ride with me.  After all, there weren’t nearly as many nasty biting insects for him to eat in Seattle as there were in Florida. He needed to relocate off my pack.

I tried to herd him onto my left hand with my right, but he was reticent to go anywhere that I tried to guide him.   He stayed paralyzed until the moment I touched him then feinted one way, now the other, every way but the way I wanted.  Still, he was too delicate for me to pick him up.  He had to go onto my hand of his own volition, however coerced it might be.  After all, I didn’t want to make any mistakes that might crush him.  Finally, after innumerable tries he took the hint and darted onto my index finger.

On the short journey outside, the little guy was constantly repositioning himself, trying to run up my arm.  He made it to my elbow before I realized the problem.  He was intent on traveling vertical; a 90 degree angle to the ground was more comfortable for him.  I just had to make sure to keep him on my hand until I made it outside.

Almost as soon as I set him down on the wooden railing he seized his new-found freedom and scuttled down the opposite side of the railing to enjoy his new life of outdoor adventures.  I bid farewell to my would-be hitchhiker on the deck and headed back inside happy to have been able to have helped a lizard on my last day in Florida.


  1. Sweet story, great pix.

  2. to enjoy your travels, and send you major GREAT wishes….. PRICELESS! thankSSS

  3. I loved this story, cute & instructive.

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