Growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area. With a wiener dog.

May 14, 2015

Why I call the lizards in the Tropical Paradise *geckos*

The Tropical Paradise has a lot of lizards. They're called Common Western Wall Lizards. You know, the kind that climb on the walls and do push-ups in the sun. But I call them geckos, because my dog, who loves to hunt after them, wants me to.

And also, in my defense, I would like to point out that my brother Roger Hall, who is quite the authority on this kind of stuff, has given me his OK on this. Normally, he is very particular about the names of animals, as I am about plants. He has a pretty cool website, by the way, if you like animals.

I like having the lizards around. They eat bugs, and besides, they're just kind'a cool to see. I put up some plastic ones, just as a goof, and I hope it makes them feel welcomed. And just to clarify, my dog, a dachshund, though she does a lot of hunting, rarely catches them. The walls here are six feet high, and her legs are about two inches long. She is on the lookout, night and day. And if you shout *geckos!*, she goes running out of her doggy door! No, you don't shout *Common Western Wall Lizards!*, you shout *geckos!*

I have to admit to being worried a few years ago when I had my roof redone. Apparently there had been a nest along the eves which was closed off, and for a couple of years we didn't see many geckos. Although my dog never relaxed her vigil for a second! But this year I'm seeing them again, so they must have found a new home. My garden provides a place for them, with food and water. And if they stay just a little bit higher up than a dachshund can jump on the wall, they'll be fine.

By the way, there are actually real geckos here. I see them only at night, around the light of my back patio.

Brad draws custom cartoon illustrations for publications, blogs, presentations, anything you want. You can contact him at his website

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