Hand Warmer

9 December 2008

In this case, when I write the words “hand warmer,” I’m not referring to mittens or heat packs, or pockets . . . I’m not referring to anything for warming my hands, at all.  Instead, I’m talking about my hand acting as a warmer for this beautiful little Texas Spiny Lizard that has taken up residence in my workshop.

I first spotted her a couple of weeks or more ago, scurrying between bolts of fabric when I moved one.  Once after that, just last week, and now again today; she (assuming there’s only one) gets around!  We have quite the community of these lovely little creatures around our home, and we love it.  The pesty ant population is certainly less than it used to be!  The lizard population has grown in the last ten years or so, since before that, our indoor/outdoor cats kept them from multiplying!  But, it’s not too often that one gets indoors, and when it happens I usually catch them and put them outside. 

But, it was cold here today—it actually was sleeting at about the time I first corralled this one into a large Rubbermaid tub.   I simply didn’t have the heart to put her outside.  So, I gave her water and fabric to burrow into, and I hope it’s warm enough tomorrow to let her out, ’cause I really don’t want to have to go buy live cricket-food!

So, here’s my quandry:  I’ve kept a lizard as a pet, and I really don’t want to do it again, at this time.  So, my other two options are:  1. Put her outside where I would think she’d be behind the eight ball in terms of burrowing in for the winter.  If I do that, am I condemning her to freeze to death?    I can’t find any evidence in my research that these creatures hibernate . . . would she survive?  Or 2. Let her go free inside my garage workshop where it’s certainly warmer, but not “warm,” and worry about her not getting enough food to live.  I’d hate to move a bolt of fabric and find her dead of starvation someday.  I mean, how many bugs can there really be in my workshop?  I don’t deal with bugs out there, that I know of—can there be that many that I don’t know about?

I’d love to hear the opinions of our readers on this question.  What would you do?  Okay . . . if you were me, and you really like lizards, what would you do? 😉 

And, by the way, I’m pretty sure she is a “she”—I did some research and came up with the fact that the male of this species has blue markings on the belly, and my little lizard does not have those markings.  Hence, I believe her to be a “her.”

I’ll be watching for your comments, replies, and suggestions!