Title blurb

"From one LIGHT come many colors." ~GJ Dürrschmidt

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Key West: It's Raining Reptiles!

Last night while preparing dinner, I heard a thump on the tarp overhead that I positioned to keep the steady rain of the Swamp Cypress tree debris off of my tent and dining area. With all those tiny pine cones, long needles, and oh yes, the prehistoric-sized moths swooping about, it's nothing unusual to hear a thump. But this thump was very close, and warranted immediate investigation.

Straight above my head was the shadow of a reptile, of sorts. Too small for an iguana, but certainly could belong to a gecko, or cameleon. Most evenings, when retired to my tent, I have often heard what I imagined to be small creatures dropping onto, and then scurrying across the canvas. Until now, I only imagined this to be the case. Now I had my proof!

I no sooner took this picture, when the little rascal crawled over to the edge and peered down at me. He seemed to be taking quite an interest, and not the least bit afraid. Can you make him out there, just above the metal loop on the brown tarp?

No? Well let me enlarge the view. There, now can you see his little green and white lizard head?

I moved out from under the tarp and raised my camera. With my moves, he very slowly turned away and froze in place. I guess he thought that by so doing, I wouldn't notice him.

Here's an attempt at a closer look. I'm using a Sprint Instinct 30 cell phone camera, which is somewhat lacking in clarity at times. Once I have accummulated all the VW bus parts one could ever imagine needing, then I might invest in a real camera.

As I inched closer to get a better shot, the little bastard turned into a magician! Please forgive me for referring to him as a little bastard, but the little bastard startled me! Right after I snapped this pic ~ presto-chango! ~ he turned completely brown! I was so amazed at this unexpected trick that I just stood there dumbfounded, and stared in awe. In a flash, he was gone, and all I could think about was how in the hell did he do that?  Answer: he had to have been a cameleon.

The little lizards here don't bother me one bit. It's the big ones that tend to spook me from time to time, even though I know full well by now to expect it. They're right there underfoot by my bus when I go to get into it. And they quickly run away, as if mischieviously up to something...

They're big and brown, and suddenly pop out into the clearing behind the tent...

They're bright green, and quickly dart out from behind nearby trees...

They stealthily scale up surrounding trees, often going unnoticed, and watch as I lay unaware in my hammock, no doubt deeply thinking about the book. But, on this day, I was awake, andsaw him up there to my left...

They appear here and there, and inevitably inch closer and closer, watching, studying this interloper who has invaded their sacred, holy swamp...

Every day they come. On some days, more of them come than on others. But one thing sure, they haven't missed a day in paying their strange and curious neighbor a visit.

I haven't gone as far as assigning them names, though I have begun talking to them quite extensively, that is, as they present the occasion. The way they inquisitively cock their heads from side to side, and bob them up and down as I speak, at the very least, creates a convincing illusion that they are listening.

Thus far, mind you, I have intentionally avoided politics or religion,  as neither have in the past ever lead an intellectually stimulating conversation to a mutually satisfying end. I must confess, though frequent, these reptilian monologues fall far from being intellectual, or stimulating, or could even qualify as conversation, for that matter. On the other hand, they have been an enormous help to me in forming and organizing my thoughts.

God only knows what thoughts the reptiles crawl away with! 

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