Sunday April 7, 2013 09:42
Carrie and I have been enjoying the April weather here in the Old Pueblo. It’s seems we’re outside all of the time. This morning, Carrie was getting ready to take a shower and saw a monster outside her window.
No really – a monster – a Gila Monster to be exact.
This is the second one we’ve seen since moving here. We got to watch this one for a few hours as he navigated the outer perimeter of our house and yard. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but he is a big one – we estimate about 18” long. That’s about as big as they get. WOW!!
According to Wikipedia:
The Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum, pron.: /ˈhiːlə/ HEE-lə) is a species of venomous lizard native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. A heavy, slow-moving lizard, up to 60 cm (2.0 ft) long, the Gila monster is the only venomous lizard native to the United States and one of only two known species of venomous lizards in North America, the other being its close relative, the Mexican beaded lizard (H. horridum). Though the Gila monster is venomous, its sluggish nature means that it represents little threat to humans. However, it has earned a fearsome reputation and is sometimes killed despite being protected by state law in Arizona.
Sounds scary doesn’t it? Well the fact is, these guys are so slow that you would have to step on the darned thing to be bitten. I read somewhere that an “old west doctor” was asked if he had a treatment for a gila monster bite… it is said that he replied, “I don’t have a treatment for stupid – these gila monsters are so slow and so shy that you have to try to get bitten.”
I grew up here – in town – and I never saw one until we moved here in the foothills. We are enjoying the desert to be sure!
Oh – as I was formatting the picture to post here, a large family (15) of javelinas came through the front and side yard. There were 3 or 4 very very small babies too. I could just sit and stare into the yard all day long. (grin)