Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
While hiking the Buncombe Hill nature trail in Tiger Bay State Forest I spotted this green anole on a saw palmetto frond.
Fifteen or twenty years ago I would only see these Florida native anoles in very remote wild places. But they appear to be making a comeback and are now once again seen more frequently both in the wild and in more human populated areas. I even saw one in our yard recently, where we normally only see the non-native brown anoles or the invasive Mediterranean geckos. Of the 7 or 8 species of Anoles found in Florida, the green anole is the only undisputed native.
Green anoles may vary their body color from green to brown depending upon their surroundings, mood, temperature or health, but they are not chameleons, as they are sometimes called.
Found in various habitats throughout Florida and the southeastern coastal plain from Oklahoma and Texas to North Carolina. Anolis carolinensis used to be the most common anole in Florida, however the brown anole is now more frequent in some areas, most noticeably in urban and suburban habitats of the central and southern peninsula.
Green anoles are slender, seven to eight inches long with a long wedge-shaped snout and long thin tail. Body is white below and the males have a pink dew lap that can be extended from below the throat to signal adversaries and potential mates.
I call this image of the base of a fallen cypress tree "Cypress Knees Akilter". This photo was taken from a kayak in the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge.
This slow-growing tree can be found throughout most of Florida in lakes, swamps, floodplains and along streams. The range extends north to New York and west into Texas, mostly in the coastal plain, and up the Mississippi River drainage into southern Illinois.
The trunk of bald cypress is spreading at the base with a deep tap root and spreading roots that send up knees extending out of the soil and water. The purpose of these knees is not entirely clear, but they are believed to help both with support and gas exchange.
The vast cypress forests of the southeast United States have mostly been timbered, leaving few old-growth trees. The Suncoast chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society has produced a brochure called Why kill a tree to grow a flower? (pdf file) explaining the detriments of using cypress mulch and listing some alternatives that are available.
There are more photographs of bald cypress trees on the Lake Disston page and the Dwarf Cypress page.