They glisten in the sun. They appear to bask on the rocks, absorbing the sunlight while quietly observing their surroundings. They can be absolutely still – so still you might be forgiven thinking they are dead. There is no doubt that they are beautiful to look at. What makes the Rainbow Skink special is its beautiful long blue tail and the well-defined stripes running down the length of its body. I read that it has a small transparent ‘window’ in each lower eyelid, although I have never been able to observe one from close enough, or for long enough, to attest to the veracity of this. They can move fast – quick as a wink and they’re gone! Such speed is highly necessary if one mainly feeds on insects.
We see them in our garden from time to time. This particular one was photographed at Ekuthuleni last August – captured because I had my camera at hand, which I do not always have when in our garden. Look how beautifully its mottled back legs match the rock. This one, as you can see, has had the end of its tail nipped off – spoiling its beautiful lines and yet raising so many questions: What attacked it? How did it get away? Why couldn’t it slither away at lightning speed?
Nature is filled with questions which, if we are patient enough, we might work out the answers ourselves. Observing nature requires patience, endurance and an ever curious mind.