Hiking Nature

Hiking in Nashville, Tennessee and beyond

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Five-Lined Skinks, Radnor Lake, Google

September 22nd, 2007 · 2 Comments · lizard, Radnor Lake, skink

I recently received an email in response to the HikingNature post of August 26 when I reported a hackneyed sighting of the non-elusive, commonplace Southeastern Five-Lined Skink. Lest I bungle it, I’ll quote the question:

What’s a skink?

Thanks, Aunt Kay, for your question, and know that I sincerely appreciate your readership. Thanks to your curiosity, the number of visitors to this website in August doubled!

a skink biting someone's finger, possibly the pinky

There is hardly a topic I enjoy handling inquiries about more than herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians). Yes, from confirming the inherent and natural sliminess of snakes and the danger they present to us when we dare venture into the woods, to authenticating the toad as the source of most warts adorning the human skin, this is pretty much the place to get answers to all your snake, salamander, and lizard questions.

In considering your question (“What’s a skink”), I began to wonder just how popular the subject is — skinks at Radnor Lake — so I Googled it. Imagine the thrill when this popular Nashville hiking blog — HikingNature.com — came up number one on Google in a search for “skinks at radnor lake”! In an instant, all my concerns and wonderments regarding the worthiness of my time spent blogging about hiking at Radnor Lake were eliminated.

Lizards : A Natural History of Some Uncommon Creatures, Extraordinary Chameleons, Iguanas, Geckos, and More

It was entrancing to see that our skinky discourse ranked ahead of the bestselling tome Lizards : A Natural History of Some Uncommon Creatures, Extraordinary Chameleons, Iguanas, Geckos, and More, by David P. Badger and John Netherton. Page 15 of this book tells a story about how a five-lined skink was observed resting “on some leaf litter, peering down at” them as they photographed some Georgia O’Keeffe flowers at Radnor Lake.

Thanks again for your question, Aunt Kay. We very much look forward to the next inquiry from our readership.

an attempt at humor

My discussion of this question without answering it was an attempt at humor. Pure tomfoolery. Now that your sides are splitting, let me answer the question.

According to the OMD (Online Medical Dictionary), to skink means to draw or serve, as a drink. “Bacchus the wine them skinketh all about.” (Chaucer) “Such wine as Ganymede doth skink to Jove.” (Shirley; reminds one of Jabberwocky)

Important Note: None of the “facts” about reptiles and amphibians in the third paragraph of this post (“There is hardly a topic…”) are true; the sarcasm represents attempted humor. Snakes are not slimy in the least; snakes almost never present any danger to humans here in Tennessee; and finally, handling toads does not cause warts!

Moonstruck Miscellany

SeventhSanctum.com :: Random deity generator! Also generates random monsters, names, plots, scenarios,…


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