For several weeks I have been missing Shirley. Shirley is the lizard who has occupied the upper layer of my compost bin. Each morning when depositing grapefruit rinds and coffee grinds in the can, I would gently lift the lid, peak in, say hello, and make my deposit, carefully avoiding Shirley.
Several weeks ago, I noticed some tiny moths hopelessly flitting around in loose spider webs. The next day, the same. Then it occurred to me that I didn’t usually see spider webs in the bin and that Shirley was gone.
Today, while removing a large, lush Burpee Big Boy tomato plant that grew like crazy but didn’t produce a single tomato all year, I found Shirley. Her fatter and beautifully marked body slithered away as I pulled out the monster plant. Her tail, which has been growing back for several months, seemed fully grown. I almost left the plant, but most of it was out before I discovered Shirley. I’m not sure where she will make up her new abode, but I really, really miss seeing her in the compost bin.