Creature Feature: Carolina Chameleon

We’re minding the home front down on the Carolina coast for my daughter while she and hubby are away at a meeting.

Other than two soccer games and one birthday party, we havent gotten far from the home base.

One of these days I will have to come down with the intention of getting out to a seashore wildlife preserve with my camera. The back porch was as far as I made it this trip, and this was the extent of the wildlife available.

My 6-yr-old photographic assistant could not resist getting too close too fast to our subject–a Carolina Anole. I suffered from a bit too much help,  so this was a rushed shot with the iPhone at minimum focal distance.

The creature was very familiar to me as a boy in Birmingham. We called them chameleons because they can change color. This one changed to brown before it disappeared under the deck.

We don’t see these in the Virginia mountains. Yet. Another couple of decades of climate shift, we’ll have them. And parrots. And palm trees.  And….

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. These critters are VERY previlent here in these apartments and do their best to come inside during the summer. I had one in the bathroom, I would not touch it but tried to step on it, the tail came off but still wiggled for an hour while the rest of him ran into my bedroom. I could just imagine sharing my bed with him in the middle of the night. I was down on hands and knees, had no idea I could move so fast, but not as fast as he. He escaped, don’t know til yet where. My neighbor warned me to never leave my door cracked and believe me I don’t!

  2. Tongue in check — there are worse things to share your bed with than a Caolina Anole! They eat insects.