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
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.
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)
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
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.