Creature Chronicles: Lively Lizard Vol I

March 12, 2011

There I was, just relaxing in bed, writing on my laptop. Alone in my room, door closed. Nothing unusual about it. This is the stage you become almost completely unaware of your surroundings…

All of a sudden, I notice a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye.

The first time I dismissed it completely. Eyes play tricks on you, electricity surges, there’s logical explanations. Of course, I promptly forgot about it. Later, I’m watching a movie in bed and completely absorbed in the plot (I can’t remember the movie but it must have been ok). Almost on cue with a music surge in the score, I see it again. That dark blur of movement that is gone before you can look closer. The second time it’s a little harder to dismiss. I began to wonder exactly what it was…

monster in the dark cartoon

Something nefarious no doubt…

Wondering didn’t last too long, but I did have to rewind my movie a bit. In cases like these my imagination is a bad thing. But I resumed watching my movie, and I completely forgot about it once more. Until… THERE IT WAS AGAIN. This time, I knew there was definitely something odd going on. But this time, the mysterious thing had been moving slightly slower as it darted across the corner of my vision. I managed to catch a quick glance. Much to my relief, it wasn’t an enormous spider, like I had initially feared, or anything supernatural (or at least I hoped.)

So what exactly was it?

dinosaur trex cartoon
Not quite. (Gosh I draw such amazing dinosaurs)

All I know is it’s a lizard. I tried in vain to capture it on film to show you the sneaky little bugger, and to get a better idea of what he looked like. But he’s always too quick, and disappears faster than free parking spots near work/school/anywhereyouhavetobe . A mystery indeed! This is honestly the best picture I could get. And even then it looks like one of those fake bigfoot pictures, or the ones paparazzi take of celebrities from 50 miles away. Just as I was about to publish this I captured a slightly clearer picture (you think this one looks bad, take a look at this)
mystery lizard photo australia

Blurred and with bad lighting, but he’s there alright

As soon as I get close, he disappears out the door or behind my desk. And if I open the door or peer behind the desk? He’s vanished into thin air and won’t be spotted until his next dash across the room. No joke, there is nowhere he can go but somehow he VANISHES. Want to see him? Too bad, he appears on his terms and his terms only. Elusive. Invisible. Speedy. I’ll take name suggestions. So far I’ve come up with ‘Gonzales’ and ‘Mysterylizard’, though I also call him by other more explicit names.

This lizard continues to taunt me, he even ran across while I was writing this post. I haven’t seen him in a week and he shows up while I’m writing about him, just to make his point. Lucky he’s harmless… I hope.

Mystery lizard, wanted


Creature Chronicles: Harrowing Huntsmen Vol I

November 9, 2010

The house was quiet. Too quiet. No, not really. It was just like most other nights, at first. Everyone was going about their own business. And then, someone went to do their business. Unfortunately, the toilet had a new resident that had recently decided to arrive unannounced and unnoticed. The house wasn’t so quiet anymore. A single scream shattered the nonexistent silence. The cavalry (aka myself) arrived to see what the fuss was about. Had a gecko fallen on someone’s lap? Was there a frog waiting for a butt-cheek hi five in the bowl? Had an axe murderer crept into the house?

No, a far worse fate (not really) had befallen the poor victim. He had shuffled forward to depants (read: remove his pants) and spotted a shadow out of the corner of his eye. Turning for a clearer view, the shadow moved and was revealed to be in fact, not a mere shadow, but a HUGE SPIDER.

Spot the spiderSpot the spider.

Summoning the remainder of the household, said victim sheepishly peered out from across the hall and said, and I paraphrase, “Yea….wtf!” Now, we get some big spiders around here, but this one was goliath compared to them. Not quite the fabled dinner plate size but scary enough. Due to the way it stalked across the toilet floor like a tarantula, we weren’t actually sure if it was a huntsman or some other monster breed of spider. Huntsmen don’t usually stalk around like that. Here’s a picture of its size in comparison to the toilet roll on the holder it decided to scale after seeing it had an audience, in case you need further evidence.

Spider on the toilet rollIt’s laughing at us in this picture.

Note the glowing eyes in those pictures. Positively evil! So. How did the household battle the spider and save the day? Less heroically than you’d think. No charging forward, swords at the ready (not that we keep swords handy for occasions like this) or flamethrowers. No heroic boot stomping either. No, the way it died was to ¾ of a can of insect spray. No joke, ¾ of a can. It just clung there to the precious roll of toilet paper and attempted to use it as a gas mask. Unfortunately for it, this tactic did not work and the insect spray actually proved as effective as the claims on the can. It’d want to be effective after releasing that much spray. We couldn’t walk into the toilet for hours or risk falling victim to noxious gas (which is usual for toilets, granted, but this was different). And even in death this spider clung heroically with one long and hairy leg to the toilet roll. And there it stayed until someone thought to put it in a container and ask a pest control guy what kind of spider it was. It was a huntsman spider, they have quite a variety of markings you see. Not deadly though, that scientists can tell. How do you deal with spiders? What’s the biggest one you’ve encountered?

Clinging in death

You can’t make me let go!

That’s the end of this particular chapter in Creature Chronicles, but don’t worry, there are plenty more stories where that came from. In saying that though, I hope I’m not encouraging the view that Australia is full of nasty animals out to kill you. They’re here, but most aren’t out to kill you. Though maybe I should be perpetuating that stereotype, otherwise you’d all realise how nice it is here. The spiders, sharks, jellyfish, snakes and insects think so anyway.

Creature Chronicles is a new addition to the site, in which I recount stories of various encounters with wildlife. Because you want to know about wildlife, right? Right. Glad we got that sorted.