From time to time while out walking, I come upon dead lizards on the trail and I wonder, “What went wrong?” How did it happen, on the vast expanse of trails, that these relatively tiny reptiles were in the wrong place at the wrong time?
These desert canyons and rocks are the natural habitat for Collared lizards, Whiptails, and at least seven other varieties. I hear dozens of them scurrying from the trail and back into hiding or onto a safe rock each time I hike. Given that a lizard can run up to 15 miles per hour and a bicyclist on this challenging terrain will not likely approach that speed, it seems odd when the two collide.
Oh sure, it is life in the fast lane a mile away on the pavement, where bicyclists speed upwards of 35 miles per hour, jackrabbits and cottontails meet their doom when the rubber meets the road on 1/2 ton vehicles; and danger of mashup lurks for the similarly sized deer, elk, cyclist and desert bighorn. Somehow it just seems a bit melancholy to find the lizards on the everyday, ordinary trails of life. Not in the fast lane. Not basking in the sun. Not even slain at their post guarding their territory. Dead at the crossroads, a casualty of mutual happening by. Somehow, I identify with that.