Thursday, April 19, 2012

Catch of the Day!

Spring is definitely here!  The mornings are crisp & cool, but the days are warming up nicely. My boys are running out the door to go play as soon as their homework is finished.  They love playing outside. There is a lot of kick ball, riding bikes, and playing war with sticks.  They also love to go exploring.  We are blessed to live in a rural mountain community where our family history runs deep. We have lots of space to roam and the boys often come running in the house with exciting finds like rocks, bugs, lizards and an occasional wild flower for their mom.

Yesterday afternoon Little K was still working on homework, so Big K started the outdoor expedition without him.  He wanted to go for a bike ride.  Not long after, he came running in the house with his latest catch of the day.  I never know what is going to be inside a pair of cupped hands and I always have visions of some creature or yucky bug getting away and hiding under my sofa. Such is life with two boys!

Big K kept reassuring me that I would REALLY like what he had to show me.  Then he opened his hands and this cute little guy was inside!  He was right. I did like it.  I really do love horny toads.  I have good childhood memories of catching lizards and horny toads and making them my friends for a little while before setting them free.  For many years we didn't see any horny toads around here at all.  So when we found several residing in a rock retaining wall last fall, it was a big event.  Horny toads are such cute little creatures and they like people once they figure out that you are going to be their friend.  Here he is. Checking me out.

Short Horned Lizzard

You do know they aren't a toad, right?  They are affectionately called a horny toad because they have spiky horns and their bodies are round like a toad, but they are actually a lizard.  This little guy is a Short-Horned Lizard.  Short-Horned Lizards supposedly squirt blood from their eyes when they are threatened, although I have never seen one do that.  It is possible that is because these are the Pygmy variety and they do not squirt blood from their eyes.  I don't claim to be a lizard expert, so your Google research is as good as mine!

What I do know is they are actually very docile and enjoy hanging out a getting a nice pet or two from a finger.  This is a smaller horny toad.  He is about the size of a half dollar sitting in the palm of Big K's hand.  I have seen them much larger, about the size of an adult hand palm and I have seen them smaller, only the size of a quarter.  Look at his cute little tail!!  Did I mention I like horny toads?

Short Horned Lizzard

See?  He is just hanging out. . . .literally!

I ♥ Horny Toads

Big K knows how much I love horny toads.  He was pretty proud to show me his "Catch of the Day"!

Big K & the Horny Toad

What do you think of our little horny toad friend?


  1. I think he's super cute! (The boy too.)

  2. Oh my gosh, how adorable! I know that sounds crazy and I have friends who would shriek at the sight of him but I think he's just adorable! You're so fortunate to live in an area where these little guys run wild, that's one aspect of California that I really miss. Thanks so much for sharing!