Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Learning to Expect the Unexpected

It is not often you have the honor to be present for and part of the Very First anything, so I am tickled all shades of pink to be here for The Very First Ever Wildlife Wednesday, hostessed by Tina at My Gardener Says.  Or perhaps I should say all tickled all shades of green...
I've posted here several times in the past about the anoles that are regularly observed in our outdoor spaces.  I've always thought they were very cool, and in another example of a Very First, the green anole, more scientifically referred to as Anolis carolinensis, recently became the first reptile to have its genome completely sequenced.
I think they look like little dinosaurs, and everybody in our household regularly enjoys watching them posture, either to attract females,
or as in this case, to intimidate a potential predator.

Anoles don't always show up when or where you'd expect to see them.  Or at least, not where I expect them.  I came across this guy surfing the waves of the rosemary out front.
Looks like he's molting doesn't it?  I'd read anoles molt regularly but I'd never seen one in process before.
As far as what I did expect, I placed a purple and orange birdhouse on our fence close to where a Grandpa Ott Morning Glory vine was growing. Initially, I was totally expecting to see this:
and with any luck, eventually flowers blooming close to the orange roof like this:
Wait a second!  I had to take a closer look because I was certainly not expecting to see this:

Honestly if I saw an anole posed just so in a painting I'd never ever believe it came from life.  I'd be certain it was a case of an artist really letting their imagination run wild.  Because come on, a purple flower blooming right next to the orange roof with an anole juxtaposed provocatively just behind it? Naaah.  That's a step too far, right? Never happen in a million years.

Except that it did, and by a stroke of sheer right-place-at-the-right-time good fortune, I was there to catch it.

The anole seemed irritated by my presence (though they all always look slightly annoyed to me) so still shaking my head in disbelief I quietly moved off and left him (her?) to whatever business it was conducting there on the fence.

Always welcome, and occasionally?  A completely unexpected sight.  Anoles!

A round of applause to Tina for not only proposing, but hostessing Wildlife Wednesday on the first Wednesday of each month.  Our gardens are not only about the plant life we tend to but are equally about the wildlife we attend to.  I'm happy to be here and sure hope you'll join in!


Tina said...

Beautiful post, Deb! I don't know which is my favorite of your photos: the two peaking over with they guy attempting to impress or the one with kitty gazing! Oh yeah, and there's the one with the anole and the beautiful birdhouse. Well done. I love anoles too--you're spot on when you say they always look annoyed at the photographer. They have remarkable animated expressions.

Debra said...

Nice. The anole is pretending to be a chimney I think. And that cat photo: purrfect.

TexasDeb said...

Tina: Thank you! Whenever anything so very tiny looks so incredibly put out with me it makes me laugh out loud. With all the weeds and grasshoppers I'm fighting in my gardens, I can use a good laugh.

Thanks so much again for hosting Wildlife Wednesdays. I don't see how any of us can consider ourselves to be much of a gardener if we are only about the botanical portion of our ecosystems. There is so much more going on and I appreciate you pointing it out so eloquently.

TexasDeb said...

Debra: Ha! A chimney - I totally see that now and it didn't occur to me until you wrote it.

Our cats are kept indoors at all times so every one of the windows within their reach are dotted with nose prints on the insides. They do love to supervise!

Linda/patchwork said...

I love the little anoles. We have a lot of them this year. And, TONS of tiny, tiny frogs.
You got some great shots.

Shirley said...

Fun post and great photos, especially with the pretty birdhouse. I enjoy watching the anoles in my garden too.

TexasDeb said...

Linda: Thank you!

Ooooh...I love those tiny frogs. They're like little toys. I've been smitten with tiny frogs forever and though I hear loads of them at night I never seem to see them during the day. Something to keep me looking...!

TexasDeb said...

Shirley: That birdhouse is a thrift store find that I painted because there are simply those days when a pop of painted color is the best I can hope for. Plus it never needs watering or weeding or cares about how much sun it gets. And anoles...well...you can tell how much I like them by how many photos of them I've already posted. I could do a calendar, easy peasy!

Mary Thevenot said...

Love the anole drama! They are so fun to watch. I agree about the "annoyed" expression.

The combination of colors in that birdhouse and the morning glory is gorgeous!

Happy WW!

TexasDeb said...

Mary: Thank you! My daughter taught me a little elementary color theory which guided my choices for the birdhouse. I'd tried for purple and orange flowers with morning glory and honeysuckle plants in the pot below but they never bloom together. Some plans work like a dream, some plans, not so much. At least the colors painted on the birdhouse cooperated and I'm glad you like them too!