Let your heart be a portal for the songs of the universe.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Texas Horned Lizard

While hiking a game trail I encounter a horned lizard enjoying a sunbath. Given its coloration I’m surprised I spot it. Cooper walks past without alerting. I notice our little friend has puffed up its body to make its spiny scales protrude. The exercise is a defensive mechanism to appear difficult to swallow--predators beware. Without bright sunlight these docile masters of camouflage would suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Yet their pension for the sun is their achilles heel. They have to leave protective cover to garner the benefits of sunlight. Horned Lizards can move quite fast when threatened and are excellent diggers. The Harvester Ant is one of its principal sources of food.
In order to collect some close-up images, I take advantage of the lizard’s primary defense response. It freezes to avoid detection by a predator. I know slow deliberate movement will allow me to get within several inches of its nose.

Close interaction with nature inspires awe. I depart while the tiny prairie denizen continues its sunbath.

© Ilija Lukić 2011

Pucker Up

Racing Stripe Camouflage

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