Article and Photos by George M. Gensler
On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, as I walked up to the park bus stop at my resort, I caught sight of a lizard, puffing out its dewlap at another lizard. It was either flirting with a female or marking its territory. I grabbed my camera and started snapping pictures. Continue reading to see how this photo obsession turned into a teaching moment.
I wanted to get a close-up shot, and I approached slowly, so as not to frighten off the lizards. Unfortunately, the intended audience of the lizard’s display did take off, but my intended subject stayed his ground, though he did leap up to a ledge to continue his display. I moved behind a post and took some more pictures.
Next, I stepped out from behind the post and shot from directly in front of it. The little blighter started to tease me, then, decreasing the frequency of his dewlap display and shortening the length of time it was out. He let me know in no uncertain terms that he knew what I was trying to do and was going to make me work for it.
He clearly knows I’m there, so I decide to get even closer and even kneeled down to be at his level. And, at last, (after a few pictures of grass with a blurry lizard in the background) my fast camera (and determination) earned its keep.
At that point, I stopped tormenting the lizard (or had he stopped tormenting me?) and sat on a bench near a large family also waiting for the bus. The father turned to me and said I must have gotten a good shot and asked me if he could see the picture. When I showed him, he called his young daughter over to look at the picture. He used me as an example of perseverance and the picture as proof that perseverance pays off.
I usually think of myself as stubborn and insistent, but hearing him speak to his daughter about my actions made me feel pretty good. For the record, I took 28 pictures from 4 different locations (gradually getting closer) to get that last shot. I have since done my research (on a super-cool website – check out http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?guide=Lizards if you ever need to identify a lizard) and my little friend is a brown anole (for more information on the brown anole, check out this site: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/reptiles/brown-anole/).
Bio: George Gensler is a copyrights specialist during the week and a runner on the weekends. She lives in New York City now, but has lived in five countries on three continents. She grew up traveling the world, but her official residence was in Southern California and every visit home included a trip to Disneyland. Her first visit to Disney World was in early 1972 (first year). She’s a huge runDisney fan and has legacy status at the Disneyland Half Marathon, the Tower of Terror 13K, and the Expedition Everest Challenge. In 2010, she ran every runDisney race (including the 5k fun runs) earning 13 medals in 11 races. She has also visited every Disney Park around the world and sailed on board two Disney cruises. She threw in a visit to the Disney Family museum in San Francisco for good measure, and has had the Premier Disney Park Pass since its inception.