Hey, girl.

Yellow-spotted agama (Trapelus flavimaculatus), likely a male, sits on top of a rock outcropping at mid-day, apparently untroubled by the 44°C heat.

Taken today, May 20 2012


swamp thing

Plastic crocodile squeaky toy, found in a hollow full of sphagnum moss at the base of a stump in Camosun Bog, Vancouver. People are typically restricted to the raised wooden walkway around the perimeter of the bog and not allowed to enter unless doing research, as I was: clearly the child whose croc this was found a way around that.

Öd’ und leer das Meer

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,

You cannot say, or guess, for you know only

A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,

And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,

And the dry stone no sound of water.

– T.S. Eliot, ‘The Wasteland’ (19-24)

sheltering vagrant

Vagrant emperor dragonfly (Anax ephippiger)


An adult male dragonfly of the species Anax ephippiger, discovered resting in the bottom of an old plastic flowerpot. Gender in this species is easily identified – males have the distinctive panel of sky blue behind the wings; the same panel in females and immature individuals is a dull brownish purple. The common name of this species is one of my absolute favourites ever – it goes by the title of the ‘Vagrant Emperor.’

Taken in February of 2011

Blue Steel

A male Yellow-spotted agama (Trapelus flavimaculatus) in full defensive display. These lizards are normally a dull brown and olive green colour, mottled in yellow and white. When cornered, or, it is thought, to display to a female, their skin turns to vividest blue, their normally pale yellow tails glow bright orange, their dewlaps unfurl and they open their mouths wide to display the bright scarlet-orange insides. This one was sunbathing by the side of a desert road and found himself cornered when he ran the wrong way to get away from me and found himself up against a heap of metal and plastic construction debris. Cue display!



Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) discovered in distress on a private beach in Abu Dhabi. Loggerheads, as their name implies, have massive, even disproportionate battering-ram heads that allow them to be readily identified. This one was barely responsive by the time she was brought to us, in the back of a 4×4 that even with seats down only barely accommodated her 1.4 metre-long bulk. She is currently under medical observation: condition unknown, but still alive…just.