Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 23 comments

Whiptail Lizard 2393

Behind the visitor center in the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park on September 29, 2014, I saw this lizard. I don’t know what species it is, but you’re welcome to read a page about some of the lizards that inhabit that national park.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 12, 2015 at 5:39 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Awww, he’s so cute :). He kind of reminds me of my son’s leopard gecko.


    January 12, 2015 at 5:43 AM

  2. Handsome little guy. But can he sing and play the piano? Not much lizardry around these parts, but the one time I visited California I was thrilled by them. I know a couple of folks who have them as residents in their houses.

    Steve Gingold

    January 12, 2015 at 5:55 AM

    • He was playing the piano, but I Photoshopped it out and cloned sand into the space where it had been.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2015 at 5:59 AM

  3. Perhaps this lizard saw you, too. Did you cast such an impressive shadow?


    January 12, 2015 at 6:22 AM

    • You ask whether I had such an impressive shadow:
      My gaze was fully forward, but perhaps I had, oh.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2015 at 6:29 AM

  4. Now this looks like the kind of view I’d see in the outback. A fine specimen. I just took a look at the link to lizards in the area. What a lot of groovy looking creatures! Thanks.
    P.S. By groovy I’ve probably revealed my age, haven’t I? 🙂


    January 12, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    • I’d say you’re in the groove, Jane. And yes, I imagine you have a great variety of lizards in the outback. Here in the United States the Southwest is our equivalent to your outback: dry, hot vast, and geological.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  5. Awww! 🙂 I wonder why lizards elicit that response? Can’t help it, he’s cute. In various places I’ve lived there have been lizards and such but in northern Illinois, not so much and I miss them.


    January 12, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    • You and Cindy (in the first comment) were both awww-struck (even to the same number of w’s, and the reference to being cute). Lizardly speaking, it sounds like you’re in need of a trip to the Southwest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2015 at 8:45 AM

      • You sweet-talker 🙂 One of my favorite writers sets her mysteries in your neck of the woods (er, desert?), my son wants to move to Austin, and my ex and I both enjoy a TV show that is set in Waco. Then you come along with all of your beguiling photos. I’ve got to say, I’m beginning to be in a Texas state of mind!


        January 12, 2015 at 8:53 AM

  6. Nice picture of lizard. I had a large green grasshopper visit me on my front door. 🙂


    January 12, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    • With the recent cold weather, I haven’t seen a grasshopper in a good while. Say hello to yours for people in frigid places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2015 at 8:16 PM

  7. Leaping lizards! as Annie would say. This one looks ready to leap, and I’ll bet he can leap high or run fast. Those toes are remarkable — so long and slender — and look how he’s holding them up off the ground. The better to provide shadows for you, perhaps.


    January 12, 2015 at 9:51 PM

    • It’s a mystery—isn’t it?—why the lizard is resting on the “ankles” of its rear legs with its feet up in the air. I don’t understand it, but the shadows went a long way (literally and figuratively) in distinguishing the photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2015 at 10:04 PM

  8. Maybe a fringe-toed sand lizard?


    January 12, 2015 at 9:52 PM

    • Thanks for your suggestion. I did some searching with that term but still haven’t been able to make a match with any of the pictures that turned up.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2015 at 10:12 PM

  9. Judging from his mitts, that dude can run!


    January 15, 2015 at 4:30 PM

  10. I’m sure this has been said, but the starkness of the shadow as counterpoint to the lizard shape is wonderful here. Also, the lizard’s coloring is so much “in tune” with the background–is this its color, or is it doing a sort of chameleon thing?

    Susan Scheid

    January 17, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    • For me, and now for you too, the shadow is as important a part of the photograph as the lizard. Unfortunately I don’t know what species it is, so I can’t look up even basic information about it, such as whether it’s able to change colors to blend in with its surroundings.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 17, 2015 at 5:24 PM

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