Tuesday, March 13, 2007

There's A Wild Iguana Living In My Ponytail

Palm, that is.


This is the ponytail in question.

Not really a palm at all, but hey.

k is extremely fond of ponytails.
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pepektheassassin said...

This is a great title for a kid's picture book! Is the bush really called a ponytail?

Wanna writea book?

k said...

Yes, yes, and yes.

Desert Cat said...

But they're not native to Florida, are they? I thought Iguanas were Central American in their origins.

Kirsten N. Namskau said...

It's a nice little friend, and it keeps the flies and mosquitos away.

k said...

Ponytails are actually in the Lily family. Since they have this big ol' caudex type foot, they also get called *elephant foot* plants, they and many others.

But yes, they really are called ponytails. Part of their very great charm, to me.

Alas, DC! So many of our fun fauna here isn't really from here. Monitor lizards are swarming over my (and LL's) old stomping grounds on Florida's SW coast; the odd Nile crocodile pops up from time to time; our native little anole lizards are almost wiped out by the brown Cuban ones; and the battles between huge pythons and our native alligators are becoming legendary.

And those iguanas are taking over, too.

About a year ago, a little boy - playing with the family's assortment of several pet iguanas in the back yard - got his fingertip bit off by one. Turns out a wild one had mixed itself into the bunch, and he didn't recognize it.

Kirsten, I wish! One thing very unusual about iguanas is that, with the exception of one single species, they're vegetarians. They leave the mosquito and fly and roach control to our other lizards, and instead eat up lettuce and flowers. They just LOVE to eat hibiscus.

And...orchid tree flowers. One of the few times you'll ever see me chasing an animal away is when I see a big iguana in my orchid tree.

Granny J said...

Jeez! I didn't realize there were that many interlopers amongst Fla wildlife! The only green lizard I recall from Jax days was the little guy who frequented the screens and turned from brown to green depending upon the background color; not a chameleon, of course.

k said...

granny j, yes! That's the native anole, the one people used to call chameleons. They do have some color-changing abilities, although not nearly so pronounced as the true chameleons. Usually, unless they felt the need to camouflage, they were a pretty sort of light green color.

And you see so few of them these days that I stop and get my fill of looking at one when I do run across it.

That was just a small sample of the interlopers we have now. It's a huge long list, really amazing.