The Texas Spiny Lizard is native to the South central United States and parts of Mexico. They aren’t endangered at all and are quite common, and from looking at siting maps online it appears that they are mostly seen from central North Texas down to Northern Mexico.
They usually run and hide or climb a tree at the first sign of people, so I usually hear them scurrying through the leaves and twigs rather than see them. The lizard in the photos below ran out of the brush right in front of me and climbed about 7 feet up a nearby tree. I slowly made my way to him to get some photos around all the branches. He didn’t move much and kind of just waited patiently until I left.
As you can see they have some really long toes and are apparently well adapted to climbing trees. Their coloring does a pretty good job of blending in with tree bark as well providing some camouflage I suppose. I might not have noticed it while I was walking by if I didn’t know it was there.
Some people keep these as pets and feed them crickets, but I would rather they live in the woods and eat bugs. I wandered off in search of other interesting things and let this guy get back to catching bugs or finding a mate or whatever lizards do when we aren’t watching.