04 July 2014

The Sun Came Out and The Iguanas Came Down

Yesterday afternoon I saw blue skies for the first time since landing in Puerto Vallarta five days ago. For someone who lives by/and for the laws of the sun, it was certainly a welcome sight.

The first, tiniest speck of sunlight in the early morning sky is why I get out of bed. My brain functions best in bright sunlight and my body only works to its fullest when it’s hot.  I have often wondered if I might be part lizard. Perhaps that is why I so adore iguanas and their relatives.

Puerto Vallarta is filled with beautiful iguanas that don’t seem to be bothered by the traffic below or the houses next door to their trees. One only needs to look up in the trees that run along the Rio Cuale, right in the center of town, to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.  If I search hard enough, (they are good at camouflage), I can usually see at least one in the tree outside my window. The best time to see them is when they slowly make their way down the tree to head for the river and get a drink of water.

I've seen yellow iguanas and green iguanas and a few bright green lizards of a different variety. I think one of them may have been about 5 feet long from head to tail. Although I have seen many, my camera does not have very much of a zoom on it and the photographs I took only are good if I enlarge them on my computer. What I needed was a close encounter with an iguana.

My friend is at the very top of the tree.
I remembered from the last time I was here that the trees next to one of the small bridges crossing the Rio Cuale had been a good place to spot the critters. I walked along the small street running along the river and was about to go up the steps to the bridge when I noticed a woman looking up in the trees. I followed her line of vision and saw a big iguana on the move. And then I saw another.

Quickly, I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures. They were still too far up in the tree, but they were moving around, not just sunning themselves.   Then I noticed the biggest guy was on the move down the tree, right in front of me. What a stroke of luck! He was going for a drink of water just when I got there.

I talked to him all the way down and told him what a beautiful iguana he was. The good thing about iguana wildlife photography is that they move very slowly - it gives one time to focus and reposition to get the best angle. When my buddy got about eye level with me he stopped, turned his head, and stared at me. I like to think he was saying hello.

I then went up to the bridge and found another one at the very top of a tree, drinking in the sun. They, like me, were very thankful for the clear blue skies. I took more pictures, but he really was too far away.

It wasn't until I got home and looked at the photos I had taken, that I realized that iguanas have people eyes. It was quite a shock. I now do know that I am part lizard – the proof is in the eyes.