On this date 7

gren iguana iguana iguana close up
Today, we have three entries that were all taken on this date. Well, not today, but the same month and day number in previous years – stop making me get pedantic. I’m including all three because of their curious connections.

The first, above, is from 2005, a green iguana (Iguana iguana, for true) on the desk in my office when I worked in an animal shelter, only a day or two past my efforts to get her out of her near-comatose state – the story is related in slightly more detail here. I love the mosaic textures of the skin of some reptiles, and so when I have the opportunity to capture them in detail with a complacent subject, I take advantage of it. This is the more dramatic of quite a few frames taken that day, capturing the eye detail as well. It was done with the old Canon Pro 90 IS, and not with any of my recent and more capable macro equipment, if you’re noticing any difference.

Eight years later in 2013, we have a similar entry.

American five-lined skink Plestiodon fasciatus in author's palm
Discovered while prepping the planters along the front of the old house, this American five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) was a surprise find – remember: today, February, North Carolina, we still have winters here. It was a warm day despite this, which is what I was taking advantage of, but the skink was hiding out between layers of weed-control plastic and was certainly sluggish, allowing me to get detailed shots in my palm. in preparation of this weekly topic for this year, I consolidated the dates of all digital photos into one spreadsheet, linked back into the specific folders and filenames, and noticed that the Reptiles & Amphibians folder had entries for multiple years, when I wasn’t expecting to see any (again, February.) So I included this one for the mild coincidence and contrast of the two lizard species; the iguana at top easily masses several dozen times the skink here. The iguana ran an estimated 60cm in length and would have been more if her tail hadn’t been truncated, with a thickness comparable to my wrist. In comparison, the skink was no more than 10cm with a body thickness approximating my little finger, hinted at with the lines of my palm in the picture.

But the next year things were slightly different.

bizarrely-shaped snow crystals
In 2014, we were having a heavy snowstorm, and I was endeavoring to capture detailed photos of snowflakes. My efforts revealed not just the typical hexagonal flat flakes we all know, but also these wonderful spool-shaped crystals, capped on either end with something resembling a ‘traditional’ flake. Not a lizard to be found anywhere, despite this being within two meters of the shot from the previous year (the dark ‘finger’ in the photo is the tip of a rosemary leaf, the bush which sat immediately alongside the planters I’d been working on.)

Granted, it’s not unusual to have wildly variable February weather from year to year, but this was one that I had the ability to illustrate, which is the whole point of these posts anyway. And coming up next week: Who you eyeballin’?

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