Keys to secret treasures (Part 3)

Some of you who have been reading my latest two posts may well be interested in more of my recent snorkeling adventures. Rest assured that I will add them—but first, here’s a new character whom I met at the Blue Hole, the same place where I found the basking turtle I featured in my last one. When we rounded a corner in the short walking trail, he (I think it Iguana 1030018was male but may be mistaken) scampered from his place in the sun to the edge of the pond and climbed a tree that stretched out over the water and hid himself so well in the Iguana 1030030foliage that I was hard-pressed to get a clear view of him, and so I spent considerable time trying to. At last my patience paid off, but before too long, he grew tired of my proximity Iguana 1030045and persistence, moved cautiously down to a lower limb, and dove into the water, almost without making a splash. It’s a green iguana (which has the clever scientific name of Iguana iguana) and was approximately 2½ feet long; they can grow to 6 feet or longer. Many have been released into the wild when they became larger than the expectations of people who had bought them as pets, the first having been recorded running free around 1990. Though they are non-native, I was pleased to have made this one’s brief acquaintance.

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About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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23 Responses to Keys to secret treasures (Part 3)

  1. Vicki says:

    Great shots, especially the last one.

    • krikitarts says:

      He was a reluctant, but thankfully not too shy subject. I know they can move really fast when they want to, but this one was apparently content to take it easy.

  2. Mike Powell says:

    I love all of the shots of your iguana iguana, Gary Gary.:) Although we generally strive to get unobstructed shots of our subjects, I really like the first image in which the iguana is partially hidden by the leaves.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks a lot, Mike mike–for the first ten minutes or so I thought that glimpses like this one were all I was going to get. He was about 15 feet away and I was lucky to be able to focus on his eye as I wove and bobbed around trying to see just a bit more of his head. I like that one especially well, too.

  3. I am glad that you got that last clear shot, but I am not one to complain about the others where he is in his element. I am also not one to avoid photographing non-native species. Unless they are wreaking havoc I am happy to see them and pleased to get a shot or two. I don’t have too many white-tail deer shots, but my favorite is just a headshot with him/her peering out at me from between leafy branches. So I also like the first with the eye visible over the leaf.

    • krikitarts says:

      Full agreement here. It’s not their fault that they’re not original natives. And I’m also partial to partial portraits, in which only parts of the critters are visible through foliage or other objects. Thanks for letting me know you like that first one, too!

  4. shoreacres says:

    Every time I see one of these, I’m reminded of their tendency to fall out of trees in cold weather. They go into a form of hibernation, and let go. There was quite an iguana avalanche a few years ago. Florida had a particularly cold spell — maybe even a freeze — and the reptiles were dropping like the proverbial flies. I vaguely remember reports of people hit in the head and requiring first aid.

    I like all of the photos, but I’m especially fond of the first. It’s pure iguana-tude: secretive, aloof, alert, always evaluating.

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m thinking it was more likely torpor–but then again, I suppose that could be considered a form of hibernation after all. Not surprising for poikilothermic animals, which need sunlight to warm them enough for normal activity. Thankfully, not many others regularly climb trees or grow large enough to be passively dangerous when they lose their grip.

    • This is terrible, but I find the image of iguanas raining down hilarious. I hope they are not hurt in their hibernating hurtle.

      • krikitarts says:

        I suppose that, locally, this could morph into a logical extension of raining cats & dogs and hailing taxicabs. I wouldn’t think they’d frequently climb high enough to be hurt in an inadvertent fall, as they’re pretty tough critters, but–on the other hand–if their free-fall acceleration is such that people were injured, I suppose it’s possible. BTW, all this iguana-talk has brought up a vivid memory of some really large ones that I saw lounging around in and on the Mayan ruins in Chichen Itzá and Uxmal near Culiacán, Mexico. I believe this calls for another post. Thanks for the prod.

      • Sounds great~I’m looking forward to that.

      • shoreacres says:

        My Florida friend who finds them on her patio and surrounding neighborhood sidewalks from time to time says she’s never seen one badly hurt. Eventually, they warm up and wander off — unless they don’t. Extended cold kills more of them than the falls. Here’s some info about the temperatures that can do them in.

      • krikitarts says:

        So it’s a good thing–for them–that it doesn’t get that cold for that long very often down there. Thanks for sharing the interesting and informative artice.

  5. From experience I can tell you that in Honduras people eat iguanas.

    • krikitarts says:

      That’s no real surprise. They’re plentiful and surely nutritious. I’ve seen (and heard of) many other far-stranger (to our way of thinking) critters that find their way onto people’s menus than a common reptile. No, I’m not going to elaborate.

  6. Winnie Hurd says:

    What nice portraits of this handsome fellow!

    • krikitarts says:

      It took quite a while to catch him through his chosen camouflage, and I was also lucky that my son-in-law, who was with me, is also a very patient fellow!

  7. laura lecce says:

    That last photo is just brilliant, what a gorgeous pose! These iguanas are just so incredibly beautiful (although I know many people who would disagree with me!).

  8. It seems like it would be rather exciting to make this fellow’s acquaintance so far from his native range. I really like the first photo, too, with him lurking in the foliage.

    • krikitarts says:

      Actually, “lurking” is one of my favorite words. Generally, though, I envision it rather as lying in wait for some unsuspecting prey to pass by. In this case, though, it was trying to elude my photo-inspired predation. And to pretty good effect, at least until my patience proved to be more enduring than the iguana’s.

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