The lizard clan is diverse and fascinating--also, some members are very sentimental and love to be sung to. I found this out one day by chance when I was meandering about and singing to myself in a stand of tall Mentzelia laevicaulis, well bedecked with its big gistening water-lily-like blooms of soft ;primrose yellow. This Mentzalia grows only in gravelly places which catch the maximum of sun; lizards also like such places. As I sang, two very unlike specimens came out from under the stones. One (the more musical--or perhaps unmusical--of the two) was over a foot long and incredibly beautiful with a bold tan armadillo-like design worked on his mustard-yellow body. He resolutely advanced and together we sat on a rock. I stopped my noise and he made preparations to leave. I began it again and he stepped on to my knee. He showed an enormous capacity for large doses of song, closing his eyes in absurd abandon and opening them whenever I shut up, his eyelids sliding back to reveal pleading orbs. This went on for some time till I finally had to tell him that I must go about my business, and as I placed him, limp from emotion, on the boulder, I pointed out to him that the music the rock wren yonder was making was much better than anything I could do. But his reproachful eyes followed me on my way.
--Lester Rowntree, Hardy Californians
|ROSES (which are not California natives, but generally like it here)|
SAN MARINO, CA