While we were in the desert, I really wanted to see a beautiful Collared Lizard. I knew the places where I'd seen them in the past, and I returned to those places, with no luck.
On the day that we were departing our peaceful and quiet campsite, I went for one last mountain bike ride. I was churning up a hill, and, to my delight, there was a collared lizard basking next to the trail.
as I'd seen in the past. In addition, this lizard was a little smaller than I'd remembered Collared Lizards as being.
Based on some reading, I think this might have been a sub-adult lizard who was gradually developing the blue color of adult male eastern collared lizards. You can see the blue on his throat.
I'm always sad to leave these desert campsites that we visit only once or twice per year. Each year brings new memories, and my attachment to the places grows.
On this visit, I learned to take advantage of the uncluttered landscape in my photography. I rarely have such a "clean" landscape in my home arena that is so forested and boulder-strewn.