As we pulled in to our regular parking space where County Road M intersects the Chippewa River Trail just outside of Durand, Tom looked out the car window and said: Look, there's a lizard on the trail!
I grabbed my camera and hopped out of the car.
I caught a glimpse of the 4-legged gray and black striped reptile with a blue tail as it scurried off into the plants along the trail. It was gone before I could get my camera to focus.
Athough I've never seen one in Wisconsin, but I knew immediately what it was: a five-lined skink. Juveniles and young females of this species have that blue tail.
The Chippewa River Trail, built on a former railroad right-of-way, provides ideal habitat for them: damp rotting logs, rocky outcroppings (for basking in the sun) and food (insects, snails and spiders).
Now that I've found one, I know where to look again.