Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Birds and Bugs and Lizards, Oh My!

As I make my way around the property at work every day, I often find myself wishing that I could carry a camera with me wherever I go. My pockets are certainly big enough to accommodate one, but I have a feeling that it would be frowned upon by management if, instead of carrying out my duties, I was constantly photographing all the various critters I see throughout the course of my day.

Since I originally posted about the Antillean Crested Hummingbird, I have seen one again, this time in much better light, and much closer, to the point where I could make a definite identification. The variety of birds here is surpassed only by the variety of insects. Giant bees and moths are not uncommon to see, and the other day, I saw an unusual variety of leaf-bug that exactly resembled the leaf of the royal poinciana trees on property.

I'm also in love with the lizards that we have here. They're about eighteen inches long, including their tails, significantly larger than an anole, and the way they move and look puts one in mind of nothing so much as a dinosaur. They're like miniature T-Rexes, with their short forelegs, and over-sized heads. Thanks to their diminutive size, they aren't nearly as threatening as a T-Rex.

Yesterday, though, I saw the first denizen of the hotel property of which I thoroughly disapprove. I came out of a room during the mid-morning to be confronted by a green iguana, on the ground about five feet in front of me. This unpleasant encounter came immediately on the heels of HB's first iguana sighting on Tortola the day before. While I don't mind the anoles and small lizards, iguanas are an entirely different matter.

About the size of a small dog (think dachshund), iguanas are, to me, one of the most primordial-looking creatures on the planet. Although iguanas in the wild are generally pretty harmless, they adapt to human encroachment quite easily, especially when fed by humans. Their long claws, sharp teeth, and the fact that they carry salmonella on their skin make them utterly distasteful, and sometimes scary, to me.

The iguana I met yesterday thankfully seemed to dislike my presence as much as I did his, as he took off into the bushes at top speed, running on the tips of his claws and crashing through the underbrush. Now that I know that there are iguanas on Tortola, though, I will be approaching my daily routine with a much-heightened vigilance.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is the whipsaw of their tail that you really want to watch out for but they can bite too!


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