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This is the closest encounter I have ever had with a Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis). I was standing out in my backyard, near the fence, under a canopy of trees. True, I was hoping to spot a Green Anole, but was a bit surprised at how close by he passed. I think he was more intent on guarding his territory…or looking for love.

This Green Anole is definitely a male – just look at that dewlap (pinkish-red throat flap). He marched up and down the top of the fence, doing push-ups, and flashing his fancy red throat-thing. I’m not sure if the girls would be more impressed by the macho push-ups or the flair of his fancy red chin skin.

Here he is now, coming back toward me, continuing to strut his stuff. This picture really shows the blue around his eye. The top of his nose looks a bit yellow to me…what a colorful lizard!  As luck would have it, I turned the other way just in time to spot a female.

This Green Anole is showing off her brown coloration. At least, I think this one is female – I never saw a flashed dewlap, and it looks like she may have only a smallish one. Can you tell that there is a teeny-tiny insect on her nose? I love little details like that.

She changed course and headed back to the tree by the fence where I was standing.

She seemed to react to the clicking of my camera. We locked eyes for a few seconds, checking each other out. It was a neat moment.

The moment passed, and she went along her way. I snapped a last picture or two when she moved into a spot of sunshine. As she warmed herself in the sun’s rays, I couldn’t help but feel honored by the presence of the pair. I’ve worked for years to give part of my property back to nature, and it warms ME to know that they have accepted the invitation.

13 Responses to “Greetings, Green Anoles”

  • Great shots, Amber! Wow. Anoles are so common and get overlooked a lot (like house geckos), so I’m glad you had this encounter. And the male display is so fun to watch!

  • Kay:

    Amber, great pics of a green anole! These are such beatiful and fascinating reptiles. I remember when I
    was a kid in the ’50’s– they used to sell anoles (calling them “chameleons” ) at the circus. Clowns would walk through the crowd with the hapless things pinned (from little leashes) to their clown suits. I shudder and feel sick when I
    think of it. Wise woman that she was, our mother would not allow us to buy one. She taught us to respect all living things. I am glad that as a society we have changed our attitudes toward the natural world at least to the extent that clowns don’t hawk little anoles along with toys and cotton candy at the circus. I don’t even want to know how they treated the perfoming animals.

    • Hi Kay – yet another reason for me to dislike clowns. I’ve always been creeped-out by clowns, and usually think of the razor-toothed monster clown in the TV adaptation of Steven King’s, It.

      Luckily for Green Anoles, they seem to be doing pretty well in the wild, where they belong.

  • I’ve never seen a male display – what a treat!

    • With all of the field trips near and far that you’ve taken, Ted, I’m surprised that I’ve seen anything you have not. I’m glad to have treated you to something new. 🙂

  • I was just thinking “Oh, is that the thing with the neck?” when I clicked through to your 2nd picture.

    Yeah, that’s the neck-thing.

  • Sandy:

    I read the Green Anole thread right after the Painted Bunting one — both dealing with very colorful creatures. Amber — thanks for pointing out the beauty and details in the world.

    (Irwin) Allen Ginsberg
    “The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the
    awareness of the world. That’s what poetry does.” <<maybe in your case, we can replace "Poetry" with "photography"

  • […] course, my friend, lizards, too. Now watch your step. Watch your shoe. Easy to see on a tree. On a fence. On the ground. You’ll scare them away if you make a […]

  • joan:

    Wonderful encounters and photos!
    We usually have a lot of anoles around but I haven’t seen one this year – so far. Of course with temperatures in the 90s for several weeks, maybe the anoles and we are hiding in the shade out of the heat.

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