Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A group of friends walks into a park to play frisbee golf and finds a live dragon.
Lynnwood resident Jessica Briarmoon was playing frisbee golf along with her daughter and a group of friends on June 12 at the Terrace Creek disc golf course in Mountlake Terrace when an errant shot led them to quite an unexpected find – a bearded dragon.
During their game on that sunny Saturday afternoon, “Someone’s disc went deep into some blackberry bushes,” Briarmoon said. “We walked back to find the disc and found the little guy hanging out on a bush. We have good friends who have always had bearded dragons and knew that he wasn’t safe there.”
Bearded dragon is a common name for a group of reptiles containing six lizard species that originate from deserts and other dry areas in Australia. The moniker refers to the underside of their throat, or “beard,” which the lizards can turn black and puff out.
Briarmoon’s disc golf group that day included several kids who got to enjoy the unique discovery. “Needless to say, the round of golf ended pretty quickly after as none of the kids wanted to play anymore, just look at the dragon,” she added.
The species, which requires consistently warm temperatures to survive, spends much of its time on branches and in bushes, and it also basks on rocks during the daytime. Bearded dragons were first introduced into the U.S. several decades ago and gained popularity as an exotic pet. Their diet consists of leafy greens, plant matter and various insects.
Members of the disc golf group didn’t have any problems picking the bearded dragon off the bush, nor did the lizard attempt any subsequent escapes. “It is very, very tame and likes to hang out on shirts,” Briarmoon said. “My daughter had it hanging on her the whole time home.”
Worried that someone had lost their pet, Briarmoon then posted news about finding the reptile to the Mountlake Terrace Community Facebok page. She thought that caring for the bearded dragon would only be temporary until it could be reunited with an owner, but so far no one has stepped forward to claim it.
“My daughter is taking care of it but waiting a few more days before buying all the necessary equipment in case someone sees the post and says it’s theirs,” Briarmoon said. “She has heat lamps and a cleared bathroom with a space heater, so he has quite a warm home.”
So far, the bearded dragon has enjoyed eating meals of “dandelion leaves and some fruits,” she noted, “and of course will get crickets soon.” For the rightful owner to claim the reptile, Briarmoon said that it has a distinguishing trait that someone would have to mention, along with possibly the area of the disc golf course where it was misplaced.
Since they’ve had the bearded dragon for several days now, Briarmoon’s daughter has also begun considering different names in case its owner isn’t located. The teenager has become quite taken with the dragon, her mom said, and it has also helped to improve her daughter’s mood following a year of social isolation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This really perked her up,” Briarmoon said. “In the days of post-COVID it’s really good to see something like this can help. I may not have wanted a reptile but (her) joy from this is a great thing, so I see it as a blessing.”
In fact, while going to wake her daughter one morning recently, Briarmoon discovered “the little guy was sleeping next to her pillow.”
Her original post about finding the bearded dragon can be viewed here, although only members of the private Mountlake Terrace Community group page can see what is posted there. Anyone who either currently or formerly has lived, worked, gone to school or worshiped in Mountlake Terrace is eligible to join the group; along with those from the neighboring cities of Brier, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Edmonds and Lynnwood. To be approved, everyone must agree to the group’s rules when they join.
— By Nathan Blackwell