Catherine Coulson

Artwork & Inspirations.

Wildlife in the walls

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I have been creating a small flower bed next to the bothy the last couple of weeks, taking advantage of the warm weather. It has been dug out between a set of low terraced platforms, raised by dry sone walls near to where the water wheel was situated.  I thought it would be nice to introduce a few small plants into the cracks and holes between the boulders of the stone wall, and as i went to plant one, came upon two small lizards sunbathing in the gap.

They were unbothered by my inspection and continued to lie there, blinking at me a few times before stretching out and closing their eyes.

They were only small with very few markings; probably last year’s young. Common Lizards (Lacerta vivipara) take about 2 years to mature, and fend for themselves from birth. They can live alone or as a small group, so i guess these two had decided to stick together. At first glance they looked an unusual bright brown colour, and on closer inspection their scales glittered with iridescent shades of pale pink, peach and orange.

After a while one of them moved along to the next gap in the stone, and there they stayed until the sun moved round when they both retreated into the wall. Needless to say; nothing got planted there, and on checking the following days they were back in position enjoying the sunshine.

I love the thought that there are these little lizards living in the wall, they are another special addition to the garden, protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

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