What’s that outside my window?

I was working at home yesterday with the window open as it was a beautiful Spring day. I needed to leave the study for some reason and so went to close the window. As I pulled the window shut I looked down, and to my great surprise saw that Jurassic Park had come to call. There on the ground, looking up at me, was a one metre long dinosaur! Of course it wasn’t really a dinosaur but a very large lizard.

GouldMonitor2 500 Of course once I saw the dinosaur I immediately forgot whatever I had been intending to do (I still can’t remember) and rushed to grab my camera. However by the time I had picked it up our visitor ws strolling round the corner of the house. I flew into the next room only to see that the lizard had walked under the “gate” where there was a narrow gap and into the fenced back yard area behind the house! An opportunity not to be missed, so I headed rapidly outside camera at the ready.

GouldMonitor3 500Numerous pictures later it was time to chivvy our visitor back out of the back yard. A lizard that size living in the back garden is not to be contemplated – too risky for us and him/her.

GouldMonitor1 500Our visitor, by the way, was a “racehorse goanna” so called because of their speed when they decide to leave in a hurry. Otherwise known as a “Gould’s monitor” Varanus gouldii.  I take delight, daily that I live in such an exciting place with spectacularly coloured birds, dinosaurs and kangaroos outside my window. Yesterday’s visitor will definitely find a space on the “Hart Calendar for 2014” that we make every year from pictures taken around the house and block.


5 thoughts on “What’s that outside my window?

    • Thank you Jo! Yes it crossed my mind when checking the species that it was Melbourne Cup day & so a Racehorse Goanna was perhaps an appropriate visitor 🙂

  1. Jo, thank you SO much for this great post! You know, we love reading your stories here in Russia. If you see the lizard again, please thank him/her for the photos, I especially like the third one. I first thought it was a crocodile, by the way. How big was the lizard? How long?

    • Thank you Tatyana, so glad you and your students enjoy the posts. The lizard was about 1 metre long, the maximum is 1.5 metres. I agree they do look a bit like crocodiles 🙂 This is the first time we have had one so close to the house and only the second we have seen on our property in 10 years – they are actually quite common in the area but quite shy so not often seen.

  2. Ah yes the wonderful, large sand lizard, the Pitjantjatjara call him ngintaka, is that the same variety in the Wertern desert..? I remember chasing them in the dunes with the anangu ladies, not knowing what we were chasing exactly, until I saw the leading woman on the ground, with her hand down a hole, puffing and laughing. Then she whips him out quickly and hurls him into the air bringing him down hard on the ground, smash, whip, circle again, smash, and he’s dead. Everyone screams with delight at the bushtucker catch for the day!!

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