Pandemic Spring II

I like keeping up with the news of the world most days and especially during this time of our Covid -19 stay at home. I watch the daily White House Corona Virus Task Force press conferences live so I can hear what they are saying without it being chopped up into incomplete sound bites later on. Watching from a comfy chair in my bedroom while playing solitaire I often glance away from the puffed up orange haired human on the screen and check on the scene outside my window. I distract myself from the insanity with the natural calming beauty of my backyard.  I can see red admiral butterflies and monarchs sipping nectar from the pink and yellow lantana blossoms. There is also a hummingbird feeder with a lovely black chinned hummingbird in attendance. I scold the humming birds for fighting each other over the feeder. “There is enough for all of you!”, I tell them, at the same time knowing that it is in their best interests to be territorial. The butterflies calm me and the hummingbirds distract me. But, the creatures that bring me the most pleasure lately are the little green lizards who are in abundance this year.

Anole3
Anolis carolinensis

Almost anytime I turn away from the puffed up man on the screen I look out and spot these guys puffing up their bright, pink throat pouches (dewlaps). They move along the tree branches or fence top and stop. Then they puff out the pink pouch a time or two and then move on. Then they stop and do it again. This behavior in these male Anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis) is to attract a female. My grandmother used to say they were “showing their money.”

AnoleDewlap
Green Anole with partially inflated dewlap
Anoles2April2020
Anoles Mating?

They are among many Iguanid lizards in the Family Iguanidae. They range throughout the south eastern United States from Oklahoma south through much of east Texas and east to Florida. They are not true chameleons, but change color from brown to bright green.

Anole5
Green Anole in brown on brown branch

Just like the ubiquitous face masks and empty store shelves, these little lizards seem to be everywhere. I see them on walks in the neighborhood. There is one that hangs out near the front porch and I have seen at least three different ones at the same time in the back yard.  Or maybe there were always that many of them around. It is just that now I have more time sitting at home enjoying nature from my window. Making lemonade out of pandemic lemons.

AnoleonGargoyleSpring2020
Green Anole on gargoyle statue outside my window

*Photos taken by author

*Reference: Texas Monthly Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Texas-by Judith M. Garrett and David G. Barker

Published by

bettymccreary7347

Born and raised in Central Texas. Spending time outside brings me joy and I love to share my observations. I also belong to two writing groups and enjoy researching my ancestors. I find people interesting, but Nature keeps me sane.

11 thoughts on “Pandemic Spring II”

  1. I too am seeing many of these bright green lizards and their red “flags”. Those are some great photos Betty. My very favorite is the one of the lizard on the gargoyle like statue! What nice contrast. Keep on enjoying nature from your bedroom. I wish I had windows onto my back yard but there is a nice covered porch. I just need to take more time out there!

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  2. A delightful meditation on the joys of enjoying our incarceration. I love lizards. Actually, I like all reptiles. And amphibians. But I was also enjoying the part about the hummingbirds and wondering if you raised your voice when you told them there was enough for all of them? Now I’m wondering if there really are a million more birds in my backyard this year, or is it just that I’m not usually here so much to notice?

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  3. Thanks, Betty, for putting down your words They coincide with my thoughts. I’ve moved my laptop to the dining room where I can watch the back yard from my big window. I think I’m doing more watching that working these days. I also have been talking to lizards and hummingbirds, so it’s nice to hear someone else is.

    Are we going to ‘Zoom” on Monday? If it’s not set up, I know Carol was feeling challenged, I can ask my sister Barbara for help. She set up a Zoom for family on Easter Sunday, and we had 18 in attendance. Chaos, but fun. She became our director and it worked.

    With love,

    Mary

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  4. This post is definitely a keeper. Fantastic images, Betty. And I feel soothed on multiple levels focusing on cool green, far more pleasing than blazing orange so prevalent in the media.
    Meanwhile on a close-up personal level, I am vigilant about rescuing those greens from the resident furry orange monster.
    Our yard, too, is crawling with anoles now. Stare at any one space for a few minutes and likely some of the green will begin to crawl. I’ve never seen them actually mate, though – what a great photo!
    Stay-at-home is not at all boring given a yard to wander. I do feel sad for those confined in apartments or too frail to wander. The treasure of photos like these is bringing your outings in for others. Fantastic!

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  5. Love the photos, Betty. I have a few of these little fellows from our trip last year – so interesting. I like how you have juxtaposed the wonders of natures to the superficiality of the nightly news briefings.

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