We are walking along the Potomac River in Scott’s Run, a small nature preserve trapped between State Route 193 to the south, Interstate 495 to the east and the Potomac River to the north.
There are a few people on the rough footpaths. We pass a man and his young daughter. After we pass, the man calls us, saying his daughter wants us to know that there’s a skink on the tree ahead of us. “Would you mind showing us where?” I ask, and his daughter comes silently and importantly back to us and walks up to a tree. She points.
There’s a Broad-Headed Skink, Plestiodon laticeps, up a tree.
It’s a red-headed male:
It’s very exciting to be so close to it.
Its skin and scales have an amazing pattern:
We move closer to photograph it:
And then it’s gone.