Ever since I was a boy I have loved reptiles. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve chasing and catching lizards from garden skinks, to blue tongues, bearded dragons and frill-necks. I remember one day, when I was in junior high school, I decided to build a herpetarium in the backyard. I recall how horrified my father was when he came home to discover the massive hole I had dug in the middle of the yard which was stage one of the awesome reptile enclosure I planned. Needless to say, my construction permit was denied and I was forced to fill in the hole.
I still love reptiles, and find lizards especially fascinating. My backyard here in Darwin has garden skinks and water skinks with which I am familiar, but I've also met a couple of new reptilian friends: Gilbert's Dragon These are cute little things with an unusual upright posture and an endearing habit of nodding, and also waving. It is from this latter gesture that this lizard derives its nickname: The 'ta ta' Lizard. These guys probably don't know I exist, busy as they are flying around the yard hunting for bugs, so to call them 'friends' is a bit of a stretch.
Not so unaware of me is my other little mate, who comes inside each evening, under the door and climbs the walls and ceiling. I watch TV while he watches me, and occasionally attempts to catch flies. Let me introduce to you...
The Asian House Gecko, Australia's only non-indigenous gecko. One of the reasons I like them in the house, apart from the company, is that they eat spiders, and I don't like spiders. This gecko also has a distinctive barking sound which is nowhere near as annoying as the cacophony caused by the Green Tree frogs outside.
I really love these lizards. They're so cool, and they make me happy. That's what I'm thankful for today.