I have a new pet. Geyri, my adorable Uromastyx, was going to be my only lizard. But I often said if I ever got another one, it would be a chuckwalla. Then a friend made me an offfer I couldn’t refuse.
We have friends who run a reptile rescue. They take their snakes and some lizards around to events to do educational shows, and give people hands on experience with the reptiles. Desert lizards can’t go to the shows, because they can’t be out of their hot environments that long. So they had a chuckwalla, and she asked me if I would like to give him a good home. Well, let me think about it…….there I thought about it, lol, and I’d love to have Chuckie the chuckwalla.
I have Geyri’s old glass house which is hard to control temps in, and I had converted the lights to make myself a little indoor green house. So I quickly converted it back to a desert lizard enclosure, knowing I could make it work for a week or 2. In that time I ordered a suitable enclosure for a chuck, got the lights etc and furnishings all ready.
Chuckie moved into his new desert home a few days ago and he is a happy chuckwalla. I swear he smiles, look at that little face.
He is a vegetarian like Geyri, so knowing what and how to feed him is simple. He is bigger than Geyri, and is an eating machine compared to her. Now the top shelf of my fridge contains more different kinds of Iizard food. I eat most of those things too, except one of Chuckie’s favorite things is zucchini, which I don’t like. He gets a big plate of varied salad every day, and he roots his nose around in his dish first thing to make sure he gets all the little cubes of zucchini. He also eats the spineless opuntia pear pad cactus I grow for Geyri. They come from the same place as he does.
Chucks come from the desert southwest of our country and also northern Mexico. He is called a red back, and was likely wild caught because not many herpetologists are breeding them here. (He came to the reptile rescue without a lot of background information, except that we know he is at least 3 years old.) Different distinct color variations come from specific geographical areas of the deserts there.
There are also several other very different sub species of chucks that come from islands off the shores of California.
Geyri is still brumating, having come out maybe once a week for a few minutes for most of the winter. She should soon be waking up and staying awake. Male chucks don’t normally brumate. The females do, to rest and prepare their bodies for the spring breeding and egg carrying season. So the winter boredom of keeping a brumating Uromastyx will be livened up by also keeping an active chuck who is quite a character. (Tony, the picture above, he wanted to say Hi to you.)
Summer flowers will be as much of a treat for him as they always have been for Geyri. But now the little garden area that was called Geyri’s garden will be called the lizard garden. In that area I grow arugula, mustard greens, nasturtiums, and alfalfa, and Chuckie will eat all those things too. And every summer morning I’ll be out in the yard making the neighbors wonder what I’m doing as I search around for dandelion flowers.
Chuckie is fun and I’m glad to have him.
Oh…!! This is so beautiful… Geyri got a friend! Looking at the photographs it seems like Chuckie is a friendly little guy. Looking forward to the new stories about the two friends.
Did you finished planning to get your garden ready for spring? 😉
They will never meet, but now it’s a 2 lizard household, lol. The garden is all planned in my head, including a slightly expanded lizard garden. In about a month I’ll start the seeds for peppers and tomatoes in my little indoor greenhouse. I hope you are doing well and enjoying a not-awful winter. We have to get thru till the end of March before it gets much better here. Be healthy dear.
We’re having a very good winter so far, well, in my opinion. That means no snow and no real cold days (icy cold). But I keep in mind we had 30 days of snow in March some years ago. The gardener is coming this month to make my garden ready for spring.
Stay healthy and safe, my dear friend!
To make your garden ready for spring…….yesssss!
Gads! He is not saying ‘Hi!’! He is showing me his sharp talons!
Well he does have toenails, so he couldn’t avoid them showing. He did want to say hi to you because he wanted you to know he’s friendly. He’s also cute, and smiles. 👍
How do I KNOW that he is friendly. Perhaps he merely wants me to think that he is friendly.
But look at that smile; how could you not be friendly with a nice smile? Oh and BTW, he knows where CA is. He probably came from southern CA.
Nice smile?! He is hiding his bloody fangs! Fortunately, Southern California and all the horrors therein is hundreds of miles away, especially since I relocated to a space station in orbit around Mars.
That’s so far away, wow. Chuckie doesn’t know about space. Did you take Rhody with you? Imagine trying to explain weightlessness to that dear little dog……….
Rhody stayed at home. Scary animals are not interested in him.
You’ll be back soon then cos you’ll miss Rhody so bad. 👍
Perhaps, but no one needs to know that.
Wow! You have a handsome one there! I understand the time it took for you to mull over the option of loving him or not : )
Aww, so Geyri is still a bit conked out.
Tony is adorable.
You have taught me so much about Chuckwallas already!
Thanks. It didn’t take me long to think about it, no. His name is Chuckie; Tony is a reader who I wanted to add a special note to in the blog.
Oh… gotcha. I was thinking Tony was one of Chuckie’s buds before he moved in with you. I have excuses: I’ve been spread too thin with responsibilities, have these aging eyeballs, I read too quickly… : )
You are so right, I can see in that face much personality! Happy you have a character.
No Tony is a regular reader that I have a lot of fun with. Hey, I have that same kind of aging eyeballs!
Also, the enclosure is amazing! And don’t feel bad, my neighbors accross the way must think I talk to grass when I sit out with Murph.
😜. Talk to grass, do ya? I walk around and look and look and then reach down and pick up dandelions. There aren’t too many in my yard so each one is a treasure. Thanks. It’s a pain to get things together to make an enclosure but fun once you get everything and you can set it up to be good for the animal and look good too. Mine both have a day/night progression with the lights, so they don’t come on or go off together suddenly. Sunrise and sunset, sort of. Like, hey, it’s getting light and warm so I should go out and lay in the sun, or oh, it’s getting dark, I better go to my hide before some night creature eats me. 😊👍
Love the day/night progression! No living being wants to be wakened abruptly by bright lights. That’s animal cruelty : )
It’s people cruelty too if it happens to us, lol. It just seems like a gentler life for a captive animal. 👍