One time, when a new driver on the backroads in Virginia, I saw a creature with a lizard shape and size pause at the edge of the road, making its outline clear, and then run into the road. I was utterly puzzled and asked my mom how any lizards would be in Virginia. Maybe it was an escaped pet? Her thought was salamander, but I disagreed because the creature looked like it was doing the cobra yoga pose, not like the flat salamander.
No way to know for sure what I saw that day, but at least I’m justified in learning that there are lizards in the Eastern United States.
Several years after first identifying the five-lined skink during a Palisades hike, initially accusing my friend of mistaking a snake for a lizard, I have a fond spot for these blue-tailed lizards and love it when they cross my path, however briefly, as they hustle around on lizard business.
Recently this little one came by for a brief greeting at a rest stop along one of the nation’s busiest highways. Much respect to a lizard tucked away in the rocky patch along the parking lot, and wishing that skink a healthy and productive life.