It happens every year in South Florida. One winter night it'll dip into the thirties and next thing you know there's a plague of lizards upon us. They're sprawled in the road, belly-up on the porch and falling out of trees on your frigid morning run.
Whether they're the noble nuisance species referred to as the common iguana, the small, brown/green and gecko-ey Anolis carolinensis or the noble Cuban anole, they're all sensitive to the frigid temps in ways you might not expect.
Though you might think they'd simply up and die in this abnormal weather they actually don't...not right away, anyway. Most of these critters actually have to stay at below freezing temps for a prolonged period of time before they'll actually freeze to death. Which is why I'm sure I saved a few today.
Though it's not unusual for a day or two of seriously chilly South Florida weather every year, this year's thermometric downturn is distinguishing itself for its lengthy stay. It's already been a week since lows dipped into the forties and fifties. And counting tonight we'll have had three days of sub-forty lows. With more to come. Very, very strange.
So that's why my house is filling up fast. Cuban anoles, geckoes, green anoles... They've been taking up residence in my empty shoeboxes [far] faster than I was able to bid a final farewell to the old shoes that once held sway there.
Torpor, they call it. Dinner is more likely if you're culturally predisposed to a reptilian meal. Work is what I call it, as my dining room table serves as makeshift reptile recovery room.
A few uprooted exotics, a splash of tap water and a luxuriously heated indoor stay. What more can you ask for as a lizard in these arctic Miami climes? Hmmmm...based on their ungrateful behavior (reference the above, open-mouthed pic), you'd think they'd prefer a few icicles in their bloodstream. (Ouch!)
Here's this morning's haul:
And by mid-afternoon (on my dining room table):
Finally, this night's tally (masking tape because some tried to make a break for it):
And I'll be adding more tomorrow, I'm sure. So how was YOUR Sunday?