Mondayitis – Blue Tongued Lizard

You only get to see the blue tongue when the lizard wishes to clamp onto you.
You only get to see the blue tongue when the lizard wishes to clamp onto you.

One of my first memories is of my Mother screaming and running about the back yard with a Blue Tongue Lizard clamped to her thumb after she disturbed it while weeding a rockery. The lizard eventually let go and flew off into the garden but it scarred my mother’s thumb and me for life.

Blue Tongue Lizards or “bob-tails” are actually rather good creatures to find in your garden as they tend to enjoy eating things we don’t like, such as large flying cockroaches and hideous spiders.

However, they are not desirable things to have rushing out at you from a garden cupboard.

I don't get the impression he likes me!
I don’t get the impression he likes me!

We have a variety of lizards that like to live in the suburban gardens of Perth. The legless lizard (well “skink” actually) has an annoying habit of turning up when you are gardening, and being…well legless, invariably looks like a baby Dugite snake which are deadly and consequently causes you to scream and run about until you realise your mistake.

We also have rather charming geckos that we regularly find clinging to the walls with their little suction pad feet until we put them in the dust pan and move them outside.

Happy to have made his intentions clear, the Blue Tongue makes his way back to the agapanthus.
Happy to have made his intentions clear, the Blue Tongue makes his way back to the agapanthus.

All very sweet. Now the Blue Tongues are a different matter. This one is about a foot  and a half long and their sturdy bodies and huge head are fine to look at, but if cornered they will try to latch onto you nearest “bits” and they have a vice like grip that is almost impossible to detach.

They are also rather curious. One once strolled inside and and promptly ran under an immovable bookcase. We had to spend several days worrying it would creep out under out bed and mistake our toes for delicious beetles until it re-emerged of its own accord took itself back outside.

I also remember my Grandfather casually remark once, “A huge bobtail has just gone into my bedroom!” to which my Grandmother replied “You are mad!” But on closer inspection it turned out to be true. We bundled it outside and we found it swimming in the pool later that day making, the most of the summer weather obviously.


We were tidying up the garden when this particular bobtail came rushing out of a cupboard where we keep the mosquito coils and croquet mallets, terrifying my nearest and dearest and making a run for the garden.

I had my camera handy so snapped these shots and, instead of being delighted with the attention, the bobtail went full “battle mode” and I had to give it a wide berth as it trundled truculently off into our agapanthus.

They are actually a skink! Fascinating!
They are actually a skink! Fascinating!

So, another traumatic experience with the wildlife and a few more inches down in the gin bottle which was required to help us recover from the encounter.


  1. I’ve never had a poor experience with one; in fact, in years passed when I was locked in my room with only my exam study for company, at about 2pm every day the bobtail that lived under my window would rustle about and come visit. He was my only friend through those dark times.

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    1. I am actually quite fond of them and they can live up to 20 years old. These ones have been around for a while now but I think we both get a surprise when we come across each other. 🙂

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  2. Oh goodness, me! Between the blue-tongued creature and your mention of “large flying cockroaches”…and your earlier stories–I shall not be visiting, but only waving from my blog!

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          1. Oh good grief–you’re like a naughty schoolboy, tormenting me! I was trying to watch an Australian movie tonight–but lost patience with the accent, though the story seemed pretty good, and I love the actress Charlotte Gainsbourg.

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          2. Sorry you found the accent grating. I can understand it though. I have finished with “critters” for the time being. Best wishes. TJ


          3. The movie is “The Tree”–highly acclaimed, “Lyrical yet foreboding metaphor for grief and coming of age”–Closing Night Film at Cannes 2010…. I will try to finish watching it tonight maybe.

            The week has gotten off to a very rocky start, so I hope Wednesday improves things…. as for you, be well and happy:)

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          4. Thank you so much, TJ–I did order a pizza for dinner, and bought 5 bags of Halloween candy (no kids to be had or seen!), so I’m sure the week will improve–I’ve given it no choice! Picture short round woman, hands on hips and scowling determinedly 🙂
            PS–I saw a small skinny spider on the ceiling, and my first thought was that you wouldn’t likely even notice it, as it doesn’t compare to your horrid creatures 🙂

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          5. Haha! As far as I am concerned, a spider is a spider and therefore must be evil. 🙂 May the week take on board your scowl and get its act into gear! 🙂


          6. Oh, you’ve made me laugh–thank you SO MUCH! Yes, spiders are evil–no matter how small and skinny…I can’t seem to locate him now, which does cause some concern… 🙂

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