Dressed For Success
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As spring progresses the local lizard population is turning up in ever showier colors. In many species the males, in particular, sport breeding colors that are intense and exquisitely beautiful. The changes appear to occur overnight: one day one sees lizards that are far showier than what was visible just a few days previously. It’s a bit of a dilemma for me because I sometimes photograph an individual of a species that I’ve depicted previously. Do I go ahead and show the new, showier version, or do I not, on the theory that I don’t want to bore the readers with repetition? Well, I think I’m going to go with full disclosure. Some of the lizards that I’m photographing these days are so spectacularly beautiful that I just can’t resist posting images of them.
Such is the case with this male Common Side-blotched Lizard. I posted an image of one of these lizards a couple of weeks ago. It was a beautiful specimen, in my opinion. But, this one’s nicer. I found him yesterday basking on a rock. It was a surprisingly chilly day yesterday and quite windy and many of the reptiles were staying hidden. Not so with this fellow, he had found a sunny spot out of the wind and was plainly enjoying himself. So much so, that he didn’t seem to care that I was crouching only about two feet away in order to take his picture.
The brilliant breeding colors that this lizard is showing — with extraordinary deep orange and turquoise accents — cause me to think again of dinosaurs. What do we suppose they must have looked like? Surely, they weren’t all drab. Their immediate ancestors, reptiles, are anything but drab and neither are their immediate descendants, birds. Can one imagine what a male Tyrannosaur in full breeding colors must have looked like?
Image taken with a Canon 5Diii, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, ISO 100, M setting, f14 @ 1/160.