It was HOT in Saratoga. Granted I was stupid enough to be wearing jeans, but it was still ridiculously hot. As you can see, any shade was appreciated by the local ducklings. It’s weird, New York has similar summers to Sydney, but it snows in winter, whereas Sydney rarely gets below 5 degrees Celsius.
It’s kinda like wild kingdom there sometimes. One time, I was sitting in the loungeroom working on my computer, and I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. Going over to investigate there was a baby Blue-Tongue lizard all of 3″ long, which seemed to have walked almost all the way through the house. As soon as he saw me, he raced with his stubby little legs as fast as he could. That would have been a great plan, except for the polished tile floor. He basically sat there, paddling furiously and going nowhere. So I put him outside, after recovering from fits of laughter.
How adorable is that? When I was in America, a friend and I were walking through an orchard (ok we were sortof lost having wandered into the forest) and the apple trees were being irrigated with big rotary sprays – think lawn sprinklers, but huge. Anway as we’re walking down the dirt road I notice something almost underfoot. Looking down I thought “ooh lizard” until the lack of legs became apparent. That was right about when it started striking my boot. Now I know snakes can stretch and unhinge their jaws, but that was perhaps a tad over-ambitious.
UPDATE: according to Dr Pete Ducey of the State University of New York at Cortland, it’s a northern water snake, Nerodia sipedon.
I was about 3 metres (10 feet) away from this guy when shooting this. You know, there’s a reason wildlife photographers use those big fuckoff EOS soulstealing lenses. They do like to watch you when you approach them, keeping an eye pointed in your direction. There’s a reason these are all profile shots.
Eastern Water Dragons are one of the more kick-ass reptiles in the Sydney area. Growing up to almost a metre long, and with mouths full of needle sharp teeth, they’re everything a predatory lizard should be. You find them in the middle of suburbia, really anywhere that has water and some bushland will be filled with them.