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Saturday Assortment

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Basil growing nicely, looking healthy and sturdy.

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A big male brown anole on a rake handle. I think he’s the same anole that’s been around the back door–he has that partially regrown tail.

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He was brave enough to sit still for photos instead of running away. He bobbed his head at me and showed off his dewlap–but with a blade of grass across his face.

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I shifted my position and tried again, and he was very agreeable about doing more dewlap displays. (I made the mistake of posting the same anole photo twice–it’s corrected now, and here’s the big guy with a clearer view of his face.)

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More gloriosa lilies are open on the plant in the front yard. This is what a newly opened bud looks likes–lots of yellow, with petals angled downward and just the tips of the petals lifting up.

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Fully open lily, with petals showing more red and curving upward.

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And this one is a fading lily, dark red petals hanging down.

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One more gloriosa lily today–a shot from awhile back. It’s a beautifully shaped lily, and its petals make it easy to see why it’s sometimes called a flame lily. I entered the photo in the Wild Amelia Nature Festival’s annual nature photography contest this year. Today they announced the contest winners, and I was surprised and delighted to learn that this photo took first place in the Flora category on the Advanced level!

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Lizard and Lily on Thursday

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We usually have a couple of brown anoles living on and around our back screen door every year. This anole was on the screen this afternoon–we’ll have to see if he stays around. He’ll be easy to recognize because he lost part of his tail at some point and a new section has grown back, making the end of his tail look a bit narrower and different from the rest of it.

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The first gloriosa lily of the year, blooming in the front yard. We have three more gloriosa lily plants growing in the backyard near the fence, but no flowers back there yet.

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And a lily bud–more flowers will be coming along.

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Rainy Saturday

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For the first time in weeks we had a rainy day today–the rain was really needed. We have forest fires going in the southeast US, and though we’re not anywhere near the fires and are perfectly safe, we’re still getting smoke and ashes in the air sometimes. I hope the rain has helped. I went outside with the camera during a couple of breaks in the rain.

Tomatoes after the rain.

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Lantana flowers sprinkled with tiny raindrops.

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Raindrop on the tip of a leaf, catching the sun.

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Yesterday I transplanted some small basil plants into two large pots. I love having basil outside the back door. We use fresh basil a lot, and when the plants flower they attract honeybees and butterflies.

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Brown anole on the fence, trying to look impressive with a dewlap display.

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One more of the anole showing off.

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Wednesday Assortment

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This male Red-Bellied Woodpecker was the first thing I saw when I looked out into the backyard this morning. It had the most beautiful red head I’ve ever seen on one of these birds. It almost looks like long red hair combed back off its face.

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I was happy to see the robins hopping around out there.

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Another shot of the robin.

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Overhead there was a Wood Stork. I’ve been seeing Wood Storks every day for the past week or so.

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Wood Stork flying away,

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Big guy on a branch by the fence.

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Giving me a side-glance.

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Anole on Tuesday

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Anole lizards shed their skin every now and then. The outgrown skin loosens in sections, and the anole often grabs it with its teeth and pulls it off. I’ve seen many shedding anoles, but this one was a bit different. He’s a big male, and the skin he shed from his dewlap is hanging from his neck in the exact shape of the dewlap. It looks like a ghostly white dewlap.

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He opened his mouth a few times and I thought he might be about to grab and pull off some of the loose skin, but he didn’t.

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Then he began a dewlap display, and his actual dewlap extended out through the dewlap skin he’d shed. I’ve never seen this before.

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He ran off shortly after that, and a little while later I saw him again and his shed skin was gone.

 

Anoles on Saturday

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I found a dead branch that had fallen off a tree in the backyard today. It was a couple of feet long and about an inch in diameter, and it looked like a perfect branch for anoles to perch on. So I put the branch in the area where anoles like to hang out, leaning it against the fence at an angle. And sure enough, every time I checked there was at least one anole on the branch, and I saw several using it as a bridge from ground to the fence. This big fellow was showing off his dewlap as he sat there. I like the colorful blur in the background.

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The branch can be seen better here.

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I almost decided not to grow tomatoes this year, but then there was the volunteer plant that sprung up on its own in one of the tomato pots. After the little plant made it through the winter I had to give it a chance. It’s thriving now, full of little green tomatoes and tomato blossoms. And as always, I have a tomato pot anole. This big male brown anole stays close to the pot, darting into the pot when he wants to hide.

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A closer look at the tomato pot anole.

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An anole on the fence–lots of white on this one.

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And one more anole climbing on the branch I set against the fence.

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Anoles on Sunday

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Big male brown anole on the fence.

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Showing off his dewlap. (This is only part of his dewlap–I missed getting a shot of his full dewlap display.)

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Looking around.

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And here’s who he was showing off for–a nearby female anole.

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Green anole climbing up the fence. It’s brown at the moment, but it can change its color back to bright green.

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Green anole reaching for a fence wire–its foot is almost translucent.

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