After the rain, around noon, I realized that I could study no further without a copy of Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. I drove into town, to the library, which I learned is closed all day on Sundays.
Upon returning home, as I turned into my driveway, I encountered this monstrosity. My first thought was that it was an iguana, and I had a moment of confusion, having to remind myself that I was in the desert, not the Florida Keys.
Other than the Gila monster, I didn't realize we had a species of lizard this large. Thankfully, I knew it wasn't a Gila monster. I've written here before on my aversion to snakes and elsewhere on my preoccupation with alligators. While this was neither, it resembled both enough to keep me in my car until it receded into "the burning bowels of this earth."
And yet I did in fact like him or her (probably a her,) this lizard. To come across it like that, with my camera within reach, it was pretty cool.
Our friend, I later learned, was a COMMON CHUCKWALLA or Sauromalus ater. Just as I figured, it presented no danger to me, also pretty cool.