Anole In The Limelight

Shadow of an anole lizard seen through a backlit leaf

All photographers learn to enjoy light. These upright elephant ears (some form of alocasia) are so beautifully backlit they would be interesting even without the patterned raindrops and veining and the anole’s shadow.

But I’m not complaining about the photobombing anole. I like the spreading toes (I’m scared of snakes, so lizard toes are always a reassurance) and it interests me how our minds interpret height from the strength of the shadow. We know the head is raised because the shadow is softer – it’s a three dimensional shadow, not a flat one.

This green anole lizard was benefiting from the vision and hard work of Jesse Yancy, a literary gentleman who has raised a garden / wildlife haven on land around the edge of a small, concrete car park that he does not own in Belhaven, Mississippi.

His blog, Mississippi Sideboard, gives little hint of the richness and diversity of the garden he cultivates, other than being a repository for folksy, home-cooked Southern recipes that use ingredients his guerilla garden produces. Here’s a link to his just-gilding-the-sweet-potato-a-bit recipe or, if you prefer, the simplest of cornbread recipes, written so evocatively you may not even spot it’s a recipe at all. Use his search box to discover more.

Green anole peeping out from its hiding place in a leaf
Green anole’s lookout point

Back in the garden, disturbed by my attention, the anole retreated to a favourite leaf where it could peer out without revealing too much. The shape of its body pulling against the leaf reminded me of one of those carnivorous trumpet pitcher plants with a capped top (sarracenia). No doubt the anole had insect-catching on its mind.

Shared as part of Becky’s January Squares: Limelight

59 Replies to “Anole In The Limelight”

    1. Anoles always seem to have a lot of character. They sometimes get into my sweetheart’s study (often catching a ride on a succulent) then don’t find it as easy to get out, so end up sunning themselves on the slat of a blind, or something like that. Luckily he’s a dab hand at anole catching.

  1. These are wonderful! I laughed out loud at the second one, which took me completely by surprise. Lizard toes (if you can believe this) were something I’d never given a thought to! And now I see them as absolutely decorative, though I grant their useful functions. Thanks for the word on Mississippi Sideboard; that cornbread post took me to my mother’s childhood. All told, remarkable!

    1. I grew up not imagining that bread could be made out of corn… how wrong I was! Even now the idea of crumbling it in milk is new to me, although I ate a lot of pobbies as a child (bread, hot milk, sugar and sultanas, served in a mug).

      1. It’s a good thing you explained pobbies — I’d never have figured it out. Sounds good, though! I am very glad you have discovered the wonders of corn bread!

    1. Yes, he was a cutie. His green castle got cut back by the winter cold not long after, so I hope he found somewhere else to hid out.

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