Urosaurus graciosus graciosus
Western Long-tailed Brush Lizard
Afton Canyon Preserve, San Bernardino County, California
The lizard pictured here got the "long-tailed" part of its name right, but disagreed with the "brush" part. Its companion was a few feet away on the same metal cable. We also saw a pair sharing a wooden post. We saw none in the bushes, where they are said to reside. That's probably because they have great camouflage flattened out against a long thin branch, and they tend not to move until you get very close.
Borrego Springs, San Diego County, California
We arrived in Borrego Springs as the shadows were growing long late on a hot spring day. Near our RV campsite I spotted a small lizard basking on a boulder. From a distance it didn't look like the right shape to be one of the ubiquitous side-blotched lizards
, so I snuck up for a closer look and discovered this statuesque brush lizard. It let me approach to within a couple of feet without shifting its position on the pleasantly warm rock. After taking a few photos, I snuck away again, leaving the lizard looking just as contented as when I first saw it.