Home At Last

Photography by Doug Couvillion: Two Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles resting on a black sand beach

Despite the rough surf and rocks of Panalu’u Bay, Hawaii the beach is frequented by Green Sea Turtles.  These two were taking a well deserved rest on the black sand after braving the conditions to make it to the beach.

Gold Dust Day Gecko, I

Photography by Doug Couvillion: Gold Dust Day Gecko on the trunk of a tree

This Gold Dust Day Gecko was sunning itself on the trunk of a tree, probably hoping a tasty insect would wander by, when I noticed it.

 

Eastern River Cooter

Photograph of an Eastern River Cooter on the Rappahannock River in Virginia

This small Eastern River Cooter was basking on a sunny log in the Rappahannock River as a paddled my canoe past it last July.  I don’t know much about the turtles of Virginia so I may have misidentified this one.

Brown Anole On A Tree

photograph of a brown anole on a tree with lichen

My Grandmother used to call these brown anoles “tiny dinosaurs”.  It’s easy to see why.  I photographed this one on the side of a tree in Florida last winter.

Brown Anole Cave

photograph of a brown anole on a rock

This brown anole was basking in the sun on the rocks.  There was a large gap in the rocks, a cave relative to the size of the lizard.  It never strayed too far from the safety of its hideout there.

Rat Snake Resting on a Branch

photograph of a rat snake resting on the branch of a tree

The Rat Snake is quite a capable climber.  This individual took to the trees when we met each other on a lakeside trail in Central Virginia.  It seemed to be just as happy making its way through the branches as it was winding across the forest floor.

Five-Lined Skink 1

Five-Lined Skink 1

This Five-Lined Skink frequently hangs out near the gap in this brick wall.  I see it quite regularly and was able to get close enough to take a few good photographs.  Five-Lined Skinks are common in Central Virginia.  You can usually find them on old logs or on rock piles.  They never seem to stray far from good hiding places.

Don't Come Any Closer

photograph of a rat snake displaying an agressive posture

When I first saw this Rat Snake it was on the ground, just a few yard ahead of me on a small, little used, lakeside trail.  I turned, took a few steps back, dropped my backback and got my camera ready.  When I turned back around it was gone.  In a matter of seconds it had disappeared into the forest.  “Oh well,” I thought, “that’s how they survive.”

I remained in the area to photograph some other things.  When I was getting ready to leave I noticed the snake had climbed a nearby tree and was just relaxing there.  Of course I approached, camera in hand.  As I got close, the snake showed its typical Rat Snake attitude by coming straight toward me.  When it was about 3 or 4 yards away, it struck this classic “don’t come any closer” pose.  It remained that way until I backed off.  At which point it turned around and went the other way.  Rat Snakes are not venomous but they definitely show no fear.  Every time I’ve encountered one up close, they have come toward me, almost daring me to see how close they will get.

Three Amigos

photograph of three painted turtles on a log in a swamp

These painted turtles remind me of three friends posing for a portrait.  They were basking in the sun, soaking up some solar energy in the Great Dismal Swamp when I took this photo.