In The Garden: Lizard, Anole, Gecho of Central Texas

The male anole "blows out" his throat pouch as a means of attracting mates and to assert territory.

The male anole “blows out” his throat pouch as a means of attracting mates and to assert territory.

This little beauty was basking in the sun on the dead stem of a Frostweed plant that blooms in my yard in the fall.

This little beauty was basking in the sun on the dead stem of a Frostweed plant that blooms in my yard in the fall.

 The Green Anole (anolis carolinensis) changes color from green to yellowish brown to a warm brown. This pic is my favorite of the photos in this post.
The little anole perched on a wrought iron chair on the front patio which is surrounded by lots of vegetation.

The little anole perched on a wrought iron chair on the front patio which is surrounded by lots of vegetation.

The friendly green anole here is a yellowish-brown color. Color is affected by temp and sunlight. I like this color. I think he/she knows is's cute. :-) Well not really but it's posing nicely for me in this photo op. :-)

The friendly green anole here is a yellowish-brown color. Color is affected by temp and sunlight. I like this color. I think he/she knows it’s cute. 🙂 Well not really but it’s posing nicely for me in this photo op. 🙂

An odd looking little creature that was introduced from Europe.  Eats roaches/insects and is considered beneficial. This is the largest one that I've seen It was perched on cracked plastic garden pot- Outside of course. They thrive inside homes if it can escape  the clutches of a cat.

An odd looking little creature that was introduced from Europe. Eats roaches/insects and is considered beneficial. This is the largest one that I’ve seen It was perched on cracked plastic garden pot- Outside of course. They thrive inside homes if it can escape the clutches of a cat.

Look closely or you will miss the lizard. The Texas Spiny Lizard in this photo blends perfectly on this small decaying tree sapling.

Look closely or you will miss the lizard.
The Texas Spiny Lizard in this photo blends perfectly on this small decaying tree sapling.

 This Green Anole changes color depending on temperature and sunlight. In this pic the anole is looking dapper in his brown suit.

This Green Anole changes color depending on temperature and sunlight. In this pic the anole is looking dapper in his brown suit.

I have not posted in a while so I’ve had a bit of a problem with the captions. Not sure why they did not show but it might be because I changed the photo sizes several times before inserting into the post.

Top three pics are of the Green Anole (anolis carolinensis)

The spoted one is a Mediterranean House Gecko (hemidaclylus turicus)

The Texas Spiny Lizard (sceloporous olivaceus) is the gray lizard perched on the decayed small tree that had grown into the chain link fence. He is so well camouflaged that he/she is almot invisible.

The last pic is of the Green Anole (anolis carolinensis) in his brown suit for the day.

A few photos here to give my viewers, readers, lurkers, and visitors a glimpse of some of the small creatures that I encounter, almost on a daily basis. I often get a fleeting glimpse of these beneficial little critters as I water my butterfly garden or walk about my yard. I generally try to have my camera nearby so that I can grab a pic here or there. These pictures are not so much here as they are there simply because I had to do some mad scrambling to capture these little beauties on film or rather digital mode.

All of these are beneficial for they eat small insects and I think they are just cute. I really feel entertained when I see one on a leaf or twig as they bask in the sun.

The anole dressed in his brown suit was almost like a pet. I saw him almost daily on the same spot of wood. I could see him watching me and he only moved when I needed to move the 2×4 that was his basking spot. After two months he had disappeared and I am pretty certain that he had been eaten by a predator such as a snake. I was sad when he no longer made an appearance but I knew that eventually he would meet his Waterloo. The literature says that an anole in the wild lives an average of two years but can live up to seven years in captivity.

Post and photographs: yvonne

Please do not reblog without permission.

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80 thoughts on “In The Garden: Lizard, Anole, Gecho of Central Texas

  1. shoreacres says:

    I just had to come back and have another look, and this time I really laughed. Last week, one of my neighbors backed out of his parking space into my car as I was driving past. As it turned out, he had Geico insurance. I keep looking at your anoles, trying to figure out which one might be my insurance adjustor! (All’s more or less well. The car’s in the shop, the insurance is paying and I’ll have my car back in about a week or week and a half. In the meantime, I’ll just keep enjoying the lizards!)

    • Dear Linda, you are too cute and funny for words. I laughed and I am giggling to myself as I write this. I’m so glad that the post was good enough for you to want to see if you could identify the Geico “adjuster.” However, I am sorry about your vehicle and I surely hope that you put your car in a really good repair shop.

      I think those kinds of fender benders happen all too frequntly. Happened to me at VA hospital when I was just sitting in my vehicle and another nurse backed into me. I still drive that 92 Ford Explorer. Love my little SUV. 🙂

  2. chatou11 says:

    Hello Yvonne, I don’t think you posted correctly , no pic for your butterflies…
    I’ll come back!!

    • So sory, Chatou. I accidently clicked publish instead of save draft. I did not even have any photos that had been inserted into the post. That post is not anywhere near ready to be published. I’ll be working on it again today. Thanks and nice to hear to from you.

  3. Came here to give you a special cyber hug, let you know I love your site, and you. These photos are terrific. I hope you’re well and that all the love from us that follow you gives your body some warm fuzzy great feelings. Love, Paulette

    • Paulette, you are such a special and caring person. I really, really appreciate the kind words and the cyber hug. It makes me feel good to know that maybe other people out there are thinking of me and wishing me well.

      Fond regards.
      Love you too, Yvonne

      • Read it all and I understand, being that I’m an NP and taught in the NP program. A-fib has been known about and around for a long time. The testing should go well for you and once it’s over you’ll be relieved. You’ll have competent people watching over you and I’ll hold you in my heart through it all. Who can understand the hands we’re dealt. Sometimes it adds humility, sometimes other things. There is a realization that you can have everything taken from you but one thing and that is what you make your attitude to be. That was something I read when I was ill and it helped me immensely. Sending love to both you and your daughter. I’ll be keeping you in my heart till you’re through your testing. Love, Paulette

  4. Hey Y how’s it going? You are posting as infrequently as me. Hope you are ok.

    Your animals too.

    Kind regards

    Thats all very formal and British is it not 😀

    • Hello Ms Gib. Thank you for asking. I’m ok. Just lots to do in the summer with several pets that require medicated baths, etc. Older pets require more so I have little energy left after I finish late chores. Hope to get started on a post tonight. 🙂 Your comment looks good to me. I don’t care how you wrote it. What matters is that you care enough to ask about my welfare. 🙂

  5. shoreacres says:

    Phooey! You had some great quotations – did you take that down, or am I suddenly a victim of WP foolishness? No matter – just wanted you to know I read it and enjoyed it.

    • Gee Linda thanks for saying those were “good” but several were stupid.It was not intended for publication.

    • Gee thank you Linda. Some were stupid.That was not meant to be published.

      • shoreacres says:

        Oh, fiddlesticks. Wasn’t a thing wrong with anything you wrote, and there wasn’t even a hint of you having any problems. My rule of thumb is, if I’m comfortable posting something, I do. People can make of it what they want.

        Anyhow – as I said, i enjoyed reading it. I saw a few things in it that made me smile and nod my head in recognition. Glad I got the chance.

        Linda

        • <emLinda,you ARE nice. I am glad too that you were able to read the quotes. I looked at the title and I didn't even have quotes spelled correctly. I make typos one after the other. I'm a terrible typist. I know the keys but too careless.

          I like your philosophy about writing. If you like I'll try to email those quotes to you. I've erased those that were really silly.

  6. Aaaugh! I went looking for your post with your quotes and it wasn’t there. I read most this morning while at work and just wanted to go back, finish reading and comment. What happened, Yvonne?

  7. Wow, great shots!!! Especially second one is wonderful…How are you???

    • Hi Rexlin. Thanks for viewing and commenting. I like the lizard with the throat pouch too but I suppose I really like the one that was wearing his brown suit. All of them were tamer than one would expect. Thanks for inquiring about my health. I am getting stronger each week thus I am feeling much more hopeful that I can return to being my happy little self and better able to care for the animals in my care. 🙂

      • 🙂 It’s really a great and wonderful news about your health. Hope you will be stronger and stronger so soon. Take care 🙂 …

        • Rexlin thanks for reading my reply to you. I am never sure if some people really read replies to their comments. Yes, it is a relief for me to be feeling better, slowly. I was quite afraid that is was going to continue downhill and ‘be outa here” before the year ended. So far my heart is now stable and BP is within normal range. I’ve never been a big person and have hardly ever eaten junk food in my younger days. I’ve been very active but not on an exercise routine. I think the stress of my husbands illness and subsequent death topped off by my daughter’s sudden onset of an arthritis was too much. I am a worrier by nature so that is not good either. I am trying to have faith that all will be better with my daughter.

  8. Wow, great photos! And, many warm hugs to you.

  9. chatou11 says:

    Wow! what beautiful shots Yvonne. I had never seen an Anolisis before, it’s is very nice. I liked very much the male blowing out his throat! It’s so funny to see how they posed for you. Thanks for sharing Yvonne, I enjoyed so much this topic!

    • Hello Chatou. It’s so nice to get your very nice complimentary comemnt about the anole and the pictures. The green anole is my favorite since they are quite friendly as a rule and when I talk to them they remain where they are as I begin to photograph. All of these little creatures are quite interesting. They certainly have a special place in my heart. I’m glad that you enjoyed seeing these photos. Thank you.

      Regards,
      yvonne

  10. Lottie Nevin says:

    Yvonne these are great pictures. How lovely to see what is going on in your backyard! I’ve only once seen one of these lizards – they are incredible when they do that puffing out party trick – it’s so cool! sorry not to have read or commented earlier on this fine post but i’ve been away, and no internet. exciting news though!

    we have geckos in Bali but the hugest and biggest lizard that i’ve seen is the komodo dragon – they are massive! plus you really do not want to get bitten by one. The guys hanging around in your backyard are much more my type of thing!

    • Dear Lottie, thanks so much for reading and commenting. Yes, I like the green anole the most. So friendly and so cute especially the male one as you have mentioned with the “tricked out pink pouch.”

      About the komodo dragon. I don’t ever want to see one of them and certainly not even in the vicinity even if I lived where they are. Dangerous as hell. I know that you have seen one or more but you are much braver than I.

      As you have written these little minkies are friendly plus they are safe. They are interesting to photograph. 🙂

      Regards,
      yvone

  11. Amazing photography, especially the one of the male blowing out the throat pouch. Stunning.

    • Hi, Marylin. It is so nice of you to visit and view. And thank you for the compliment. Yes, the green anole has the wonderful ability to make himself more handsome. I think they are so cute. The anole is my favorite of all these little minkies.

  12. shoreacres says:

    Such wonderful photos – although, I will admit the first thing that caught my attention is that one had posed on frostweed. It’s one of my favorite Texas plants. Up at the place in the hill country, it always was an excitement to be there during a freeze and find those wonderful “ice sculptures” everywhere.

    I’m lizard-rich this year. I’ve always had the geckos, but new varieties have come in, and they’re wonderful. One is a brown anole (I can’t remember the name) that apparently has come over here from Cuba via Florida. It’s competitive with the green anole, and the articles say where the brown pops up, the green will decline. We’ll see. So far, there are plenty of both.

    I’m glad to have the name of the spiny lizard, too. This is the first year I’ve seen them. They don’t seem as skittish as some, and they’re very attractive.

    What’s been most fun this year is watching the babies! I’ve never seen baby lizards, but goodness – they’re everywhere right now. Some of them are barely two inches long – perfect little duplicates of their parents.

    There’s one older lizard I really get a kick out of. It doesn’t seem afraid of me. Everyone else runs off lickety-split when I come down the stairs, but this one stays put, cocks its head and watches me while I talk to it. Who knows? It’s fun, anyhow!

    • Linda, thank you for commenting and as always in such a lovely manner. I so enjoy reading about your experiences in Texas. I agree with you that the Frostweed is a remarkable plant. This past year I did not see any “ice” that had formed from the oozing sap. Maybe it was there and I simply missed the show.

      I’m interested in the lizards that you are now seeing. Can you find someone to identify them? I will need to visit Sir Google to hopefully find some info about the lizards on the Texas coast. Maybe you can grab some pics of these minkies and do a post about them sometime?

      And the one that you speak to is a cute story. I love the way that some of them seem to be listening as we talk to them. The tamer ones cock their little head and appear to be looking me in the eye.

      I wonder what caused the population explosion of the lizards in your area. One thing for sure there should be fewer insects around. I don’t know if they might eat mosquitoes or not. That would surely be a good thing if the minkies had the munchies for the skeeters.:-)

  13. Kathy says:

    The first time I saw a lizard with that pink pouch I thought it was a dream. Maybe a sci-fi dream. It was in Georgia where the in-laws live. We certainly don’t have this exciting a variety up here in the north woods! Thank you for sharing these pics, Yvonne.

    • Hi Kathy. Thanks so much for commenting and writing about the pink pouch of the anole lizard. It’s been interesting to read about other folks expriences with these little minkies. The first time that I saw a male lizard show his throat pouch I stood in awe. It is almost like a dream to see a creature dsiplay such astounding behaviors.

      PS: I hope this finds your fur grandbaby in New York and the other in California in fine fettle.

  14. What an interesting post and beautiful pictures ! Those lizards really seem to be “posing” for you. Great captures. The spiny lizard reminds me – in a much smaller size – of the chameleons I saw every day in the garden when I lived in Madagascar. Amazing camouflage. Geckos were on our walls and ceiling too. I always wondered : “Will they fall on my head…”? It never happened, fortunately and I know these lovely little creatures are most useful. Thanks a lot for sharing your garden with us.

    • Hello, Isa and thank you for commenting and adding your experiences about the chameleons and the gechos that you saw daily while living in Madagascar. I find those things interesting. Blogging is quite informative when one has great bloggers who follow and those that take the time to comment as well. I really like the connections with the folks that read my blog.

      Gerard Oosterman in Australia who is an excellent writer and really funny as well wrote about the gechos that he saw while in Indonesia. http://oosterman.wordpress.com/

      Ms Gib who lives in Gibraltar wrote of the gechos on the ceiling in her home and out in the garden. She called them a free pet that requires no feeding. And beneficial too. Love that example of “free pet.” http://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/

  15. gita4elamats says:

    Fantastic, love lizards

  16. Office Diva says:

    Lizards Alert!

    Fairy Blogmother, what a great gallery you’ve put together. I’m really impressed because I’ve taken about 100 pics of lizards around the house and mine have turned out dismally. I even managed to sneak up on a baby one last week who was perfectly posed against the patio stucco wall, and for some reason didn’t seem to mind my 40mm shoved into his face a lot. (This was very odd; on hindsight perhaps he was dead). Still, the results were an Epic Fail. I need more practice w/ macro and lizards, methinks!

    The first and last photos are my favorites, simply because I appreciate the ability to change colors when the mood strikes you, or in this case, when the background changes. I like to blend in, too! I also like the upside down lizard because it shows such a great detail of the spine. I am very fond of the spinal column. ;O)

    The photo with the “invisible” lizard is great too, but at first rather perplexing. It took me longer than I care to admit to find that guy hiding………I thought perhaps you had sneaked in one of those psychological tests where you are looking at a photo of a lamp that is also simultaneously the profile of an woman. Confounding! I saw an impressively large specimen a few weeks ago, but he was quite fast and disappeared before I could even take a step to fetch my camera. Such is life.

    Lovely post……..you have inspired to me brush up on my macro lizard skills. Perhaps the next time I am outside, it would help if Chaya were not with me. They have a healthy fear of her quick paw…….I am having more hope now!

    Happy Wednesday to you.

    • Ms O’Div, I have no macro skills and no real macro lens. My lens is a lousy 18-200mm kit lens and I use auto focus 99% of the time because of my old glasses. I can focus faster on AF and zoom all the way to 200mm so that way I am not right on the subject. I always keep the dogs away if I am trying to photograph butterflies or a lizard. Some tips: Try to wear bluish or tan pants and a blue shirt if possible. Or camouflage, for the minkies don’t seem quite as frightened that way. You also must move very slowly as you approach the minkies. But about the 40mm macro lens. If you have a zoon I would try that and use Af as well. Much faster that way.

      These are not really all that special. Not sharp enough but that is what I get with a canon kit lens. Also I was not using a tripod. I try to hold the camera as steady as possible. My canon has stablization but of course all these would have been a bit sharper if I had used my tripod. Just did not have time to set all that up and it would have caused too much movement and then I would have scared the subject away.

      I laughed a lot as I read your comment. A woman standing sideways or a lamp post. That is a good one for sure. Yes and good ole Texas spiny lizard is a good one at blending with its surroundings.

      Thanks so much for taking time to leave a very nice comment. Much appreciated.

      Regards,
      Fairy Blog Mama

  17. Andrew says:

    These are fine photos Yvonne. We have a love hate relationship with lizards etc. I love them, Mrs. Ha hates them. At least close up indoors. But they eat mozzies so that’s good. It’s a shame mr brown suit disappeared. Maybe he is visiting friends. He may return!

    • Andrew,thanks so much for having a look and commenting. I have to agree with Ms Ha that lizards are not welcome company in the house. But outdoors they do eat lots of insects and if they eat mosquitoes then they are welcome out in the yard/garden. I am not real fond of having a gecho in the house but they are usually very small and generally remain well hidden. The one in the photo was a surprise to me- the largest that I have ever seen.

  18. I am still amazed that even the larger ones can walk upside down along the ceilings. In Indonesia I have often observed them sitting still for hours only to dart off quickly and catch an insect or other morsel.
    I loved those photos, especially the first one. You can clearly see it’s nature which seems to indicate a kind of twinkle in its eye., obviously pleased you are taking his photo.

    • Gerard, thanks for viewing and commenting. I agree that these little minkies are amazing as they crawl along upside down. I’ve looked for a long time just at their feet in the pictures and they have some strange looking feet with long toes.

      And I have to say that I think that number one was indeed posing for me. It just sat there on the leaf seeming to know that I was not going to harm him or her. I talk to them when I see the anoles and they generally do not run away.

      Thanks for visting and commenting.

  19. sybil says:

    The captions are there OK. Wow that spiny lizard really blends in well. Love these images.

    • Thanks so much, Sybil, for taking the time to take a look and to comment. I agree with you about the spiny lizard. He/she looks just like the decayed sapling that had grown into the fence. I had the little tree wacked off a bit below ground level so that it would not come back. I have forgotten what tree species it was. Anyway I have seen the lizard on the decayed tree several times.

  20. Just Rod says:

    Love lizards, love your photos. The captions show up on my email and website views.
    Glad that you could capture these little minkies.

    • Rod, thanks for the visit and commenting. I like the enduring name that you have given to these little fellows, I shall now be calling them “minkies.” I love the name. Minky would be a good name for a cat or dog. 🙂

  21. artscottnet says:

    awesome captures!

  22. The captions are showing up just fine for me, Yvonne. And the pictures are all great. I am not sure whether small lizards would be welcomed in the house but they are cute as the dickens. I imagine they keep the insect population down so would indeed be beneficial. Until the day that there are more of them than insects but that will be hard to imagine.So this is one of the success stories of introduced species…the Mediterranean House Gecko…
    It is disconcerting when a familiar yard critter doesn’t show up. Maybe it just met a member of the opposite gecko sex and they set up housekeeping…always look on the bright side. 🙂

    • Steve, thanks for letting me know that the captions are working. I have yet to figure out all “the ends and outs” of WP. Maybe if I click on it from Google I will see the captions. I fiddled way too long trying to fix what I thought was broken. I was out of sorts, steam and, patience.

      About the brown gecho, I will think of him finding a mate and moving to another territory.I need to practice your optimism. 🙂

  23. TexWisGirl says:

    these are fabulous shots! they always look so intelligent! don’t see them to often up here, but i know i’d see them more if i went into the more wooded areas.

    • Thanks so much, Theresa for commenting and the nice compliment. I’m fairly certain that you have some of these around. In my yard they are not really evident if my dogs are running about.

      You might be lacking in lizards, anoles and, gechos but you more than make up for that in the number of birds on your property. If I had a pond and a few more acres here….

  24. I love geckos. I guess ours match your Med one, but they normally move too fast for me to take their piccy. I did have a blog post a while back where one was happily crawling across our bedroom ceiling upside down (obviously), good head for heights.

    I found some chewed up remains of a roach in my bathroom a few weeks ago, so more good work by a gecko. I did have a chameleon at one point (protected species) there is a photo of that somewhere on one blog or another but he’s not been back since 😦

    I love anything lizardy. Darlings and so good for our gardens. And to keep the roaches at bay.

    Beautiful photos Yvonne.

    • Hello, Ms Gib. Thanks for the nice comment and compliment.The gechos as you have written are little darlings. And I think that who ever decided to introduce this species had the eradication of roaches in mind. One on the ceiling is a bit unsettling for me but then the ones that come into the house here generally remain hidden anybow. I hear them call or sing sometimes. It’s a high pitched little chirp which I actually like hearing.

      Which chameleon species is protected over your way?

      • Piccy here:

        http://wp.me/p2c8OG-hg

        It’s the common chameleon, Chamaleo chamaleon. Included in the national catalogue of endangered species.

        And here is my gecko post:

        http://wp.me/p1XwsS-10n

        Pix aren’t as good as yours, but you get the idea.

        • Thanks for the links. I checked in on your posts and left some brief comments. I woke up early at 2am and could not go back to sleep. Anyhoo, I liked seeing the gecho pix and the rock of Gib. You have a huge following on the blog. Good for you.

        • Thank you. There was no need but it was just to show you some similar although not as good piccies.

          But I did love the light for the Rock shot. Especially as I took it from a moving vehicle. Following? people come and they go. Me da igual. I try and respond to all my comments and return the visits. I think that’s polite and if I stuff up occasionally then I’m sorry but it’s never intentional.

          Saw a cutie gecko the other week, he kept shooting behind some bricks and then peeping out at me again. They are adorable. Free pets in your garden that you don’t have to feed and they eat the roaches? Can’t ask for more than that!

        • Your pics are just fine.I dont feel that mine are much better. I wish for better ones but when it is all said and done good lenses produce the best pix if you are shooting birds, small creatures, flowers. Using the right filter on your lens also makes a difference since I really know very little about Photoshop and don’t have the time to “fiffle” around in doing much editing.

          And I agree with you that the little lizards. gechos. etc can not be beat as a garden pet that does not require feeding. Just stay free of poisons around your home and they will come to live near or with you. 🙂

      • forgot to say re above comments, you might also want to try either safari (I am an Applehead) or Opera in your browser search.

        • Thanks Ms Gib for the browser info.I now have three to check out. Safari, Opera. and FireFox. Right now I am using Windows that has worked pretty well for me. I used Google Chrome which I liked very much as the spell check was very good but it flipped back and forth and was wearing me out. It was during the time that I was having issues with my computer. I am aiming for a new computer soon as I am afraid that at any time this one could play out although is seems to be working well since it was fixed.

  25. wow- love the one you can barely see on the branch

  26. Great captures, Yvonne!! You’re so lucky to have them around, they’re both cute and useful 🙂

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