Unwise mourning gecko

A young mourning gecko hides under a tire.A young mourning gecko in a parking lot.
Returning to my truck after a walk, I happened to notice this little gecko scuttling into the shadows. I got down on hands and knees to see where it had gone and it moved farther under the truck. I went around the truck, back on hands and knees, and saw it shoot off in the opposite direction. Then I went to the front of the truck, hands and knees again, and wondered where it had gone.

It took me a while to discover it’s hiding place. As the top photo shows, the gecko hadn’t picked a great spot. I waggled my hand at it, but it didn’t budge. So I got up, found a stick, and, back on hands and knees again, reached in and tapped the ground behind it until it shot out and around the other side of the tire. I got up, walked around to usher it away and it promptly scurried back to the inside of the tire.

We repeated this little dance two or three times. I wasn’t getting anywhere and the young mourning gecko clearly believed it had found a really safe hideout. My knees were sore and I figured this kind of activity was probably what Darwin was thinking of. So I got in the truck, fired it up, waited a minute or two, and slowly reversed. Then I pulled forward, stopped and got out.

The little guy had survived so I thought I’d take a photo. Right about then a young woman approached with two boisterous dogs and asked if I could suggest a good place to exercise them. The dogs were getting plenty of exercise right there, barking continuously, and jumping up and down. I cast concerned looks at where they were landing as I gave her a few tips.

When she headed out of the parking lot with her charges, I bent down and saw that the little gecko had survived the canine cacophony and was still anchored in the same spot. I took the photo to the left and then the gecko headed off toward the low concrete tire stop and eventually disappeared underneath.

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