I have lots of pictures to go through and organize from my trip to Utah. Hopefully I will get them up before the week is over! I just wanted to update on my gecko. I released him in the California desert outside of Barstow. I found a perfect spot on a dusty side road where an old sofa was slowly decomposing beneath a sprawling smoke tree. (Western banded geckos sometimes live under the debris of human habitation. Such was the case for both of the geckos I have found.)
I held him in my hand, for probably only the third time since I captured him in April, and put my hand out to within an inch of the frayed and faded fabric skirting along the bottom of the sofa. He let out a little squeak*, jumped onto the ground and slowly disappeared beneath the upholstery.
*These geckos occasionally make little squeaking noises, usually when they are surprised or frightened. I had only heard him squeak a couple of times before, when I was trying to gently touch his little head. This final time, he was already in my hand and he squeaked just before he jumped off, and I prefer to think he knew he was being released and he was excited to be starting a new adventure in his life. And maybe he was saying goodbye.