Saturday, October 24, 2009

there be dragons

One bit of commonly-shared wisdom is that all ancient marine maps were marked at the edge: "There be dragons."

The very phrase conjures up primordial fears of what lies below the literally unfathomable depths. Sailors will tell you that nothing seems more mysterious than the sea when the last bit of land disappears.

But, like almost everything we all know, this one is simply not true.

One sixteenth century globe contains the phrase: "HC SVNT DRACONES." But that's it.

But I know where I can find a dragon. This one doesn't visit me in my dreams -- though that is where many live. He visits me in my back yard.

That is him at the top of the post. Not particularly big.

But he is definitely green.

And a regular visitor now that there is no large dog to reduce him to a tastes-like-chicken salad sandwich.

He lives next door. But he has an Eve-complex about the hibiscus in my yard. Loves those blooms.

When he climbs up into the shrub, you can see why some biologists believe that reptiles and birds are related. He looks as if he could make a lumbering takeoff. Of course, it would be an Wilbur Wright flight.

So, I will content myself with the dragon I do have -- not the ones that were off of the map.

If you are interested in some of the "there be dragons" tales, take at look at this web page.


Islagringo said...

Nice! All we have here are the plain brown Iquanas. I guess we should be lucky that we even have them, this being an island and all.

Steve Cotton said...

Islagringo -- It is a good reminder to me that I live in a tropical "jungle."

Chrissy y Keith said...

I love the iguanas too Steve. It is a must for where ever we end up in Mexico.

Don Cuevas said...

I was just reading a new-to-me blog in which a couple won a free trip to a PV resort. The wife/blogger freaked out when she saw an iguana on the grounds, but after hearing from a staff member that the iggies ate the snakes, she spent the rest of her trip in her room.
She eventually was able to come down to the dining room.

(She said, upfront, that she doesn't like Mexico. Of course, she's only experienced the beach resort facet of the country.)

Read it here:

Don Cuevas

Steve Cotton said...

Chrissy -- Iguanas are one of my favorite animals. I cannot believe that anyone could not be fascinated by them.

Don Cuevas -- Well, I guess I was wrong. Some people are not fascinated. That woman would not survive very well in my delightful fauna-filled back yard. I suppose she would not appreciate a visit to the crocs.

Darrel said...

Are you sure he isn’t a San Patricios scout (being green and all) monitoring your invasion of Mexico and planning a counter attack.

Jackie said...

Boy that one sure is green. I am more familiar with the gray brownish ones. I love taking photos of the iguanas on Isla. There are a few places that you can see sometimes as many as 10 or more at once.

glorv1 said...

I love the color green. I don't love that green thing you have there in your backyard. No thank you, you can keep it.If Jiggs were there, he'd have gotten rid of the intruder fast. Have a great weekend.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

I miss iguanas!!! People here say they have them, but not like at the beach. They are so cool.
One afternoon a big green guy, big enough to ride, parked himself on my roof next to the succulent mango tree and stole 3 mangos from my tree. He then slurped and drooled all three of them onto the patio of my bungalow and THEN. . .lobbed the 3 seeds at me in my hammock.
I have surmised, since then,that they posses a remarkable sense of humor. Is that possible?
BTW, Steve, your stats are very impressive and my blog hopes to be like you when it grows up.

Barrajorge said...

Great shot Steve. What camera did you choose to replace your old one?

Steve Cotton said...

Darrel -- I never thought of that possibility. Historical iguanas.

Jackie -- On this coast, they are very green. Jungle creatures.

Gloria -- They are both beautiful and fascinating. I wish we had more of them.

Mexican Trailrunner -- I am convinced they do have personalities. This guy is quite the muncher.

Barrajorge-- New camera. Panasonic FZ35. I will write about it -- one of these days.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Tennessee Williams write a play called Night of the Iguana? If I recall, Sir Richard Burton played the part of a fallen-away preacher exiled to the southern clime because he had alienated his parish by speaking too much truth.

So perhaps you really are the old guy at the end of the bar, exiled from his mead hall for straying too far from the oral formulaic handed down, adding too many little accents of your own.

Anglo Saxon that you are will you be girding up any time soon to go after the dragon? Or are you a reformed anglo saxon, choosing to try to live in peace with ancient foes and fears?

A Nony Moose

CancunCanuck said...

Beautiful photograph Steve! I LOVE iguanas, have a tattoo on my shoulder blade to prove it. We don't get many of that bright green variety here though, lovely little guy!

Steve Cotton said...

ANM -- I, of course, am a postmodern Anglo-Saxon who denies the force of symbols. No St. George for me, thank you.

CancunCanuck -- Unfortunately, some very ignorant people fear them here. This pretty fellow very well may never grow to maturity.