Dances with Skinks


Artist painting in the garage studio

Spring at last, spring at last! This week, I happily raised the doors of my garage studio to mark the beginning of my painting season. An hour later, I realized something was missing.

For the past two springs, I've been taunted by skinks. I don't like these reptilian little buggers. And no, they're not cute. They lither.

It begins like this.

As I'm merrily engrossed in my painting whilst listening to Joshua Johnson on NPR, I catch something moving from the corner of my eye.

Argh, not again! At this point, Lizzy is outside. She pauses. I know she's angling to come in. Doesn't she know she's trespassing?

I look at her. She looks at me. It's a staredown.

I stomp my feet.

You'd think she'd skitter off quickly since, from her viewpoint, I must look like Godzilla. But Lizzy stays put. I have to admire that.

I stomp my feet a few more times. Sometimes I'm forced to throw something to scare her off.  

She skitters across to the other side of the garage door, forcing me to run and defend the castle.

I stomp again. 

Eventually, she runs and hides in the bushes, only to return, sometimes with reinforcements, and resumes the stance. Last year, a three-pronged attack had me dancing the flamenco. Buggers

The good news is that the party's over by summer. It's like it gets too hot to dance, and they seemingly pack it in one day and head for the mountains.

So, no Lizzy yet but just wait. She and her lot are probably whistling down the hillside as I write, doing the cha cha. But for now, I paint in peaceful bliss. Spring at last, spring at last.