miniature Manhattan wildlife

Eastern Fence Lizard, Northern fence subspecies

I think it was one of his relatives.

I don't know when a modest garden of pots on a low Manhattan roof qualifies as a natural wilderness, but I'm thinking that ours must be getting pretty close. We've watched birds of all kinds visiting the scene for water, berries, grubs or house-building materials, and one parakeet decided to come in out of the cold and stay. I've also collected and resettled a few snails in the last couple of years, but today I spotted a tiny lizard on the wall above the pots. Its body couldn't have been more than an inch long, excluding its tail, and because of its size and line-markings I thought at first that it was some kind of centipede or water bug. I just don't think of lizards as being big on New York real estate.

I didn't get a picture while I stood out there with my hose. I guess I couldn't quite believe what I saw, or maybe I couldn't imagine it was an unusual sighting. I still don't know if it was: Try Googling "New York City" and "lizards," and you'll see what I mean. Also, the critter was so small and well-camouflaged on the brown-grey stucco wall that I doubt it would have shown up at all even if I had my camera with me.

If he stays around I'll try to do better next time, but I don't want to frighten him away.

[image from eNature]