In Zion National Park I took a moment to deviate from one of the paths at a bridge and follow a set of steps down to the creek. There wasn’t an actual path at the creek, I think the steps were there so you could cross it on some stepping stones as there were another set of steps on the other side, but I took several minutes to explore up and down the creek bed to see what I could.
Dragonflies, a profusion of dragonflies! And not a picture to show of them! There were little darting red ones, giant orange dreadnaughts, elegant bright blue and ominous iridescent black. The creek itself was full of little fish and despite the speed of the water there were even Water Striders. I found myself wishing desperately I had a better macro lens, but I am ok with the simple memory even if I can’t share the photo.
As I worked my way upstream (and seriously pissed off a ground squirrel by standing right in front of it’s bolt-hole) on a tumble of fallen tree I saw a flicker of movement. It was too small to be another ground squirrel, too big to be a bug. I crept closer and was treated to this sight.
Talk about adorable! I spent a good 15 or 20 minutes watching him sun himself and catch a few bugs while trying to take a good picture of him. I was careful to stay back enough to not disturb him too much though. Back at the visitor center a ranger helped me identify him a splotch sided lizard, but he mentioned that they are also known locally as “fence post lizards” which I think is some what more pleasant name.
Just look at that little face, I want to hug him!