Even Western Colorado Wildlife Are Desperate for Air-Conditioning
It's hot in Western Colorado, and the recent humidity isn't helping. Even Western Colorado wildlife are anxious to find a cool breeze.
This was the scene yesterday afternoon (July 27, 2021) as I looked out the bedroom window at my house in Grand Junction. This little guy needed a little AC, and he was willing to do what it takes to get it.
One of two things is going on here:
- This lizard wanted to catch a glimpse of me in my undies (highly unlikely)
- The little guy was overheating and desperate to cool down (far more likely)
The National Weather Service had yesterday's temperature at 94 degrees. I think they're lying. My fancy little thermometer thingy in the car said it was 100.
More important, though, was the humidity. The weather service listed yesterday's lowest humidity level at 24%, and it only got higher from there. As you know, when humidity levels increase, swamp coolers become less and less effective. Even with my swamp cooler running full blast all day, the interior temperature at my home was 81 degrees.
This Lizard Wanted In
It seems this lizard likes the idea of 81 degrees indoors better than 94 degrees (or I say 100) outside. My window was open, and he set up shop on the screen. I tried to persuade him to hit the road, but he told me to "shove it."
When it comes to lizards and their preferred "room temperature," the San Juan Mountains Association states:
Colorado has 19 species of lizards, and most are generally found under 8,000 feet of elevation. This is due to the fact that they are cold-blooded (also called ectothermic), meaning that their body temperature is typically the same as the temperature of their immediate environment. For this reason, you will often find them sunning themselves on a warm rock when the air temperature is cool, and conversely hiding in a cool hole when the air temperature is hot.
What I Take From That Is...
This cold-blooded lizard obviously prefers my 81-degree bedroom over the 94-degree rocks in my yard, and I don't blame him.
The recent weather in western Colorado reminds me of my childhood visiting my grandpa in southern Illinois. Given the high humidity, when you stepped out of the shower you found yourself soggier than when you were in the shower.
It's a rough spell in our neighborhood. Stay hydrated, keep indoors when possible, and take it easy. Please don't forget about the pets. They don't dig 100-degree weather any more than you do.