Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Friendly Native

While scouting the trail head of the Finger Rock Canyon area yesterday looking for some IR photos to take, I ran across this fellow. I've tried to image lizards lately, but they are always too fast for me - just as I push the shutter release, they are typically on their way at a high rate of speed. But this guy was much slower, and larger (and brightly colored) than those in the back yard (perhaps the cats have eaten all the slow ones!). I thought for a bit that he might have been someones pet, because I could get my hand to within a few inches. But I wasn't quite motivated enough to catch it, and I was content to grab a couple frames. It looked to be at least 30cm (12 inches) long, mostly tail. From the description and other photos on various websites, it appears to be a native, not a pet, likely an Eastern Collared Lizard, Crotaphytus collaris. Tucson is on the edge of it's range, tending towards rocky woodland areas, which certainly describes the edge of the Catalina Mountains where found. He was certainly a beauty - I'll need to keep an eye out in the future!

1 comment:

Andrew Cooper said...

I have had those guys pose for me a couple times. Something about the big ones and a favorite rock? They get bold. Pure camera candy and great when it happens.

Same things go on with some of the reef fish over here, sometimes you get a bold fellow who sits still while you shoot photos. That takes longer under water.