My first encounter with the American “chameleon” (see further description) was in the early nineteen-thirties: I was a teenager attending the Barnum & Bailey Circus. A chameleon was purchased for a quarter and pinned near the upper left shoulder of my sweater. There was a tiny chain around the lizard's neck which allowed the vender to pin the specimen on a customer's lapel or sweater. My brothers and I kept the chameleon alive for quite a while by feeding it on house flies. After a week or so cooler weather required that the room radiators should be turned on. Sadly to say, our pet chameleon (now free to roam around the room) managed to jump onto the steam-heated radiator. My brothers and I carried on with a teenage funeral for our pet.
My next sighting of an American chameleon was in 1942 at Parris Island, South Carolina, during my Marine boot camp training. I have always felt an affection for this frail little member of the lizard family.
The editor of this PittPaths.com website has become a beachcomber! His latest picture is an example of his attention to the marvelous land along the sea environment of South Carolina. He writes about his photo: “I spotted an anole, perhaps the same one photographed above by my wife Patricia a few weeks earlier and in nearly the same spot, on the leaf of a yucca plant — but this time the Green Anole was brown! The anole seems to be emulating the color of the pine needles seen under the yucca.”
(Also see the top and bottom photographs in larger format.)
Copyright © 2007 William T. Hathaway.