Lizard Wars

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich 2 Comments

My tree lizard

My tree lizard

Spring has sprung here in Prescott.  Really I think summer is here.  Flowers have popped, trees have leaves, humming birds are buzzing me everywhere (while doing laundry yesterday) and the lizards are out and on the move.

Last year I had a huge and crazy lizard living in the tree in front of the Airstream.  Really big and thick lizard that was at least a foot long.  It wasn’t very friendly, and every time I’d come out of the trailer it would run up the tree and I couldn’t photograph it.

Yesterday coming out of the Airstream I saw my lizard friend once again.  Actually, I thought it was the same one.  It ran half way up the tree stopped and started pumping up and down.  Clearly threatening me…..that’s what I thought.

The sizable critter continued putting on its display, so I broke out the camera and started shooting it.  Push ups, all puffed out, pretty interesting.  All for me………

As it worked out, suddenly I learned the big display wasn’t for me.  It was for the equally sized lizard that shot in from another branch.  A quick assault, one lizard retreating to one branch, the other running back up the way it came.

Giving a photographer the eye

Giving a photographer the eye

They stayed pretty close.  Both putting on displays.  Each posturing to tell the other to leave.  And then it happened…….The big fight.  Each shot toward the other, pretty rough attack.  So rough that they both fell more than 7 feet from the tree and hit the ground.

I followed to where they landed.  Locked together biting, writhing, and not being friendly.  I leaned in closer and the fight broke up.  One shot back up the tree, the other stayed and stared at me.  Finally it followed up the tree as well looking for another fight.

Over the course of the afternoon I saw no further outbreaks of violence.  I did see each of the big lizards moving around the tree, and occasionally I got a good photo or two.  Finally I get to share these crazy critters with you!

If I ever have the opportunity to shoot another fight I’ll grab the 200mm immediately (something I didn’t do).  It’s not every day that you get to capture wildlife doing its thing!  Like the Great Blue Heron I photographed the other week, I’m very happy to have witnessed the whole scene.  Sure, I don’t like watching animals fight, but I know it happens and it was neat to see it.

The first lizard up the tree after the little fight

The first lizard up the tree after the little fight

Comments 2

  1. Hmmmm…seems like it’s getting a little seedy at the Airstream lately with all the dangerous characters that are hanging around the place. I’m starting to worry about your well being with the undesirables moving in…I mean, these fights are obviously serious seeing as they’re being “taken to the ground” (which I believe is a cage fighting term) I mean, usually in these parks people are just moving through…traveling to new places and not staying long…it’s really hard though, when the whole neighborhood is taken over by hoodlums…be careful.

    Maybe you should wear a hard hat when you go outside just in case they fall out of the tree and land on your head…cause that would TOTALLY happen to me.


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