By Kevin Williams
My parents live in a very typical suburban subdivision in southwestern Ohio. The neighborhood is perhaps about 40 years old, very, again, typical. The nearest patch of woods from my parents is a good mile or 1.5 miles away. There is a spring that bubbles up about four houses down from them. Still, not what you’d call ideal habitat for anything. Despite that, though, they’ve had quite a parade of fauna over the years in their yard from deer to toads to chipmunks and skunks, groundhogs and raccoons and I’m probably forgetting something. They do keep their lawn and flowers and trees immaculately groomed and it’s a very nice yard but, again, you just wouldn’t think of it as prime wildlife habitat.
When I was a kid I loved visiting the toad that often visited the house under my brother’s bedroom window. And if we get a period of particular heavy rains it’s not unheard of for my parents to see mallards sloshing around in their backyard.
But of all the wildlife at their house this one stymies me the most in figuring out where it came from.
The other day I saw this guy sunning himself on their front porch.
They had had mulch delivered about a month earlier, so it’s possible this guy hitched a ride. There are 5-lined skinks in this area, but this one doesn’t really look the part with its scaly gecko-like skin. It could be a “fence lizard” but the habitat and range aren’t the best fit.
So, anyone have any ideas of what this might be? I was passing my parents front storm door when I saw it sunning itself on their front porch. I got as close as I could to capture some photos and then it scurried away into a shrub and I lost its trail.