(Originally posted on our 2011 Field Blog — by Gail McCormick)
Although our updates have been sparse of late, our time at Solon Dixon has been nonetheless quite memorable. The last few weeks have included such things as intense sunburns, eastern indigo snakes, wild turkey and squirrel stew, and lizards lizards lizards!
Last week, Sean and I collected blood samples from lizards and ran blood assays, which, as Nicole mentioned in the previous post, helps assess immune response. Sean has returned to State College, where he is analyzing data and flexing his mad writing muscles as he works on the manuscript for this project.
After a nice stay at the Langkilde Lab Lizard Room at Solon Dixon, the lizards from this project were finally due to return to the wild. Chris and I chauffeured our lizard friends to their home sites in Alabama and Florida to see them safely off. We will visit many of these sites again next summer; perhaps we will meet again, lizards!
Alex and Nicole also said their farewells for the summer, and Chris and I have started to wrap things up around here. We have been busy cleaning the lizard room, packing up the lab, as well as tending to the enclosures. We recently found a baby glass lizard in one of the enclosures. Because it is a potential predator, we caught and removed it from the plot. What a pretty potential predator!
This morning, Chris and I began the process of recapturing the juvenile lizards that currently reside in the enclosures. To our surprise and pleasure, we recaptured 34 of a potential 40 lizards today! Although I am new to this lizard thing, I am starting to gain an eye for spotting lizards. Care to test your luck? Here’s what you are looking for:
You try this one! There are two juvenile fence lizards here:
Did you find them?
Great! Now you’re an expert! Earlier today, Chris and I were coaxing a lizard down a tree when we saw additional motion. Great, another lizard!
Wait. Oh wait. That is very much not a lizard. That is, in fact, a HUGE spider! With legs that look strikingly like a lizard’s tail. Classy, spider. Very classy.