What to Know
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
- The area is open to visitors, but note that the visitors centers at King Gillette Ranch and Satwiwa are closed
- Some trails are closed; read more before visiting
Just because your horn-ery doesn't mean you're ornery.
But that won't stop humans from finding some humor in the two character-filled photographs posted on the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Facebook page on Jan. 29, 2021.
The wilderness area, which is known for boasting over 500 miles of excellent hiking trails, sweeping vistas, and all sorts of fascinating critters, wanted to acknowledge National Curmudgeons Day.
We'd tell you the ornery occasion falls on Jan. 29 each and every year, but we don't want to make you, well, curmudgeon-y, should you already know that information.
To honor the sourpussy celebration, the Santa Monica Mountains social team spotlighted the local Blainville horned lizard, a regal fellow that gives some spectacular side-eye.
Making him, of course, an ideal beastie to praise on National Curmudgeons Day.
His side-eye is so notable that it even got shouted-out in the comments, but his seemingly judging glance isn't the only thing that makes this low-to-the-ground guy special.
"In the Santa Monica Mountains, these interesting reptiles can be found near ant hills in open areas of sandy soil and low vegetation," shared the recreation area's social media team on Facebook.
"They mainly eat ants, especially harvester ants, but they also consume other small invertebrates such as spiders, beetles, termites, flies, bees, and grasshoppers."
"This is why they have large flattened stomachs and very short sticky tongues (rather than the long flicking forked tongues of their lizard and snake brethren)."
So cool, and nothing to be a curmudgeon over.
But here's something that may make rangers more than a tad curmudgeonly (and understandably so): This amazing lizard should not be picked up or held if you come across one while hiking in the region.
Likewise, all animals of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area should be given a wide berth, should you spy a furry or scaly or feathery denizen while savoring the sunshine and fresh air.
One secret to de-curmudgeon-ing many situations?
Giving everyone a good amount of breathing room and their own space. Call those wise words in 2021 and at any time, a piece of advice that will help anybody avoid getting side-eyed.