Lizards in the Houston garden

Wander around the garden in Houston and there is usually the odd small lizard, a few inches long, scuttling out of sight or sunning itself on a wall. There seem to be two sorts.

 

The green anole (left) is native to the south eastern US. They have the ability to change colour to brown, hence sometimes called American chameleon, but these are not true chameleons. Their natural habitat is trees, although house walls seem to provide an alternative.

The brown anole (top right) is a native of the Caribbean, more recently introduced via pet shops and pot plants. This lizard is said to displace green anoles from their preferred habitat, so represents a threat to their long-term survival.

My third picture (bottom right) is probably a brown green anole, as it lacks the strong patterning of the brown anole.

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For reference here is a list of reptiles in Texas.

Deer Antlers

It’s the antler growing season in Tatton Park, Knutsford. The growing antlers have a wonderful soft appearance, compared to the harsher, more angular full grown variety. I was fortunate to capture antler pics of both red deer and fallow deer on recent visits to the park.

The antlers of the two species are completely different, in that fallow deer are the only UK deer with palmate antlers.

Simian encounter

We were quietly gliding through the peaceful mangrove swamps at Damas Estuary near Quepos, Costa Rica, and came across a troupe of capuchin monkeys, or white-faced monkeys as they are more colloquially called. As we edged into the bank two came over to size us up. The younger one was a bit disturbed.

Soon we got the warning baring of teeth, not to come closer, but the older monkey realised we were no threat. His face looks quite wise. Real natural wisdom.

Costa Rica has just four species of monkey: the howler monkey mentioned in a previous post, these capuchins, spider monkeys and the smaller squirrel monkeys. We saw squirrel monkeys, but they moved around too quickly to get good photos.

Sloth

One of our great expectations on visiting Costa Rica was to see a sloth. We were soon rewarded by being shown, after much searching, this great lump of fur high up in a tree, you could hardly make out that it was an animal at all. Subsequently we saw a number of these balls of fur, and occasionally the odd limb or face, but no decent photographs for some time. Read More »