With Halloween just around the corner, most people aren’t thinking about lizards and reptiles here in Arkansas. But for wildlife photographers like myself, fall is a great time to capture images of our cold-blooded friends before they settle in for winter hibernation.
Last October, we had an unusually warm spell, which brought the Green Anoles out in full force around my place near the Ouachita National Forest. I was able to get some great shots of these colorful lizards basking on logs and rocks soaking up the autumn sun.
As I wrote about last month (Five-lined Skink Hibernation) many lizards and skinks in this region hibernate during the winter months to survive the cold. But Green Anoles are a bit heartier and can remain active even after temperatures drop. Their ability to change color helps them blend into the forest as the leaves change.
One of my favorite images from last October shows a brown-colored Green Anole posed on a weathered gray log soaking up the autumn sun. Even though Green Anoles are known for their bright green coloring, they can actually shift to brown or gray to blend into their surroundings. This ability to change color helps them camouflage effectively as the environment shifts from summer to fall. I love capturing how they seamlessly transition right along with the forest around them. The interplay of the Anole’s brown hue against the gray log made for a striking fall portrait.
Unfortunately, I no longer have my property near the Ouachita National Forest after selling it earlier this year. I will certainly miss having these Anoles in my own backyard and being able to photograph them regularly. But I know they will continue thriving in this forest that is their natural home.
For any aspiring wildlife photographers out there, October can be a fruitful time for reptile portraits before these cold-blooded creatures disappear for the winter. Just be respectful of their habitat and keep your distance. With a long lens and a little patience, you can capture nature’s vibrant colors before the landscape turns white.
Image Information: First Image
- Date: 10/23/22
- Time: 3:17 PM
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- ISO: 3200
- Aperture: 8
- Shutter: 1/800
- Exp. Comp.: 0
- Program: Manual