An exotic visitor in my garden


Close up of the common lizard Hi all,

In a reply to a comment in my last blog I said I would explain more about a rather exotic summer holiday job I had when I was about 14. I will do so soon but I am still hunting high and low for photographic evidence to corroborate my claims!

If you are puzzled by all of this – I worked for two summer holidays with four Indian elephants!! More hopefully next week with photos…

In the meantime and continuing the animal theme, I was watering my Thompson and Morgan QVC flowers yesterday and saw a rare but very welcome visitor to my patio – a Common Lizard!

Common lizard in Dale's garden These are rarely seen although fairly widespread in Britain and this female was just basking in the sunlight having eaten a large number of ants! I ran upstairs and grabbed my camera and she was still there when I returned.

I shot several pictures and I think these are the best. I'd love to hear of any rare visitors you have had or still get to your home and/or garden.

Until next week and hopefully 1970's Elepics!

Dale. x.


  1. Gail July 11, 2010 at 9:19 am -  Reply

    Hi Dale, how lovely to have been visited by a lovely, rare lizard. Great that she was still there when you went to get your camera (by the way, how did you know it was a she)?
    Aged 14 and working with elephants; beats the dry cleaning job I had at 14 me thinks.
    Looking forward to the elepics and stories re your time with the elephants.
    Keeping with the animal theme, just as a matter of interest as we are roughly the same age, do you remember ‘Guy’ the lovely big gorilla at London Zoo? I mentioned it briefly on Craig’s blog. Happy memories of the 70’s, even the dry cleaning Saturday job.
    As for rare visitors to my garden. Nothing rare I’m afraid, but many lovely visitors like hedgehogs, foxes, lots of birds (which I feed) etc. Everything is welcome in my garden and don’t they just know it; they cost me a fortune with all the food I buy them. There must be a little sign over my door that only animals can see saying, ‘GAIL’S CAFE – ALL WELCOME’.
    Hope you and the family are well and enjoying the hot weather. Take care,
    Gail x

  2. Dale Franklin July 14, 2010 at 12:53 am -  Reply

    Hi Gail – Hi diddly dee a lizard sexers life for me ! Actually I didn’t know it was a female until I looked it up to see if it was a much rarer Sand lizard, which live within a 100 yards of my garden fence.I do remember Guy and actually went to see him when I was quite young – I only got to see his hand as in those days the London Zoo cages were dreadful, some were still the original Victorian cast iron ones ! The Zoo is so much better now for us and the Animals ! Dale x

  3. Karen August 1, 2010 at 10:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi! Dale just looked at your mystery bird photo, it is a song thrush you can see the distinctive ring around the eye , spotted chest and white buff abdomen, they grow up to about 9inches but if it was smaller it was probably just a youngster. I used to get a lot of them in my garden, they are lovely birds eh!

  4. pickledwizard October 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm -  Reply

    If you are looking for pictures of when you were fourteen, I still have the photos from the school trip to Llandudno, including the one concerning the boiled egg leaving the coach, and the unfortunate state a geography teacher returned on evening………! (ps my daughter found your blog, and suggested I reply)

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