Here, that’s where. In the desert. In my yard. And one other prime location that freaks me out not a little, but we’ll get to that.
Before noon yesterday, I crossed paths with five lizards. Or a few lizards making repeat performances.* It was ridiculous, really. It’s not that I mind seeing them, or that they have the element of surprise in their bag of tricks, the way they blend in to their surroundings. (Where we’re intruding, I get it.) But it’s that scratchy sound they make when they skitter across the rocks in the yard or on the sidewalk that drives me mad. Like ice scraping against ice, or nails on a chalkboard.
On Facebook, I asked “Really, how many lizards must I see in one day?” And this lady answered with a rather arbitrary “6.” And wouldn’t you know, by the end of the day, I saw another one. Remind me to ask her about tonight’s Lotto numbers.
So, that covers the lizards. The desert was really starting to get on my nerves yesterday morning, and we haven’t even talked about the fact that it was 102 degrees. In April.
Later, I was walking around the side of the house when I heard some commotion coming from behind a bush. In the next moment, a whole family of quail scattered right in front of me, the little ones (so small) dodging here and there until the mama rounded them all up again and the whole brood of them scooted under the gate and into our backyard.
Sweetest thing ever. I forgave the desert right on the spot.
And then (because you knew there had to be an “and then”) I left the house to pick up the kids from school. When The Girl got in the car and started telling me about her day, she said, “I only got one recess today because there was a rattlesnake on the playground.”
Annnnd the desert laughs in the face of my forgiveness.
So maybe people weren’t supposed to live in the desert, is what I’m thinking. Certainly not sissies like me, who can’t handle rattlesnakes on the playground at their kids’ school. I’m such a wuss. And to be fair, this is only the third time in five years they’ve found one on the playground. That I know of.
As another friend pointed out: “Wondering who looked at Phoenix and said ‘let’s build a metropolis HERE.'”
It’s a good question. And it’s Earth Day, but I’m won’t get on my soapbox. Just letting you know that where we live and how we live is on my mind today. The fifth largest city in the country doesn’t belong where water resources are so scarce – but no one really thought ahead about that, to this. To all these people. Before our housing development was built on these 2400 acres, I’m sure there was a beautiful hillside. And, yes, people need houses. But maybe we should put some more thought into where we build them.
It’s too late to locate this metro area somewhere else, but it’s not too late to convert our energy resources to take advantage of the abundant sunshine here. Maybe we all elbowed our way into this place – among the lizards and the quail and the rattlers – but it still comes with a responsibility. Living on this planet comes with a responsibility.
Oh look at that, I got on my soapbox. But who wants to bet there’s a lizard or two hiding underneath it? Probably six of them.
Oh, did I tell you? We saw the quail again later, twice. And counted fifteen chicks. Fifteen. You should have seen them. **
* No jokes about Liza-rd Minelli, please. Or Eddie Lizzard. You’re all better than that. (I’m not, but you are. )
** Promotional consideration for this post (hell, the whole day) was provided by Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.*** (I’ve never felt more like Marlin Perkins.) And by Corona**** (I had two).*****
*** I wish.
**** I really wish.
***** I really did.
UPDATE: And there was another rattlesnake on the playground today. Who’s got the number for UHaul?