Iguana, Florida Keys

Wearing sandals that are good for walking but not so good for climbing, I make my way carefully down a steep dirt and gravel slope. Carefully because a mis-step could see me slip-sliding down that slope and into and, maybe, over all that lies between me and the Straits of Florida: a shin-high concrete barrier. One hand is fully occupied hanging onto my camera.

That’s when an unexpected rustle comes from my left, and my peripheral vision sees motion, but not what’s causing it. A snake? Some other woman-wearing-sandals-eating wildlife? My heart rate ratchets up a tad.

I stop cold and turn my head slowly so as not to provoke an avalanche or the unknown animal.


My short-term survival reasonably assured, my inner photographer takes over.

Full-length view of iguana on concrete pier supporting a bridge.

Close-up of iguana's face.


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6 Responses to Iguana, Florida Keys

  1. Tom Watson says:

    One weekend a good many years ago, at a camp ground in the ‘near north’ of Ontario, I saw a teenage girl who carried around her pet iguana on her shoulder. Didn’t make me feel inclined to trade in our dog for one.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – I know! We saw a guy in Key West with a huge iguana on his shoulder. I wonder how sharp those toenails are. But I guess you can get attached to any pet that returns (or seems to) your affection.

  2. Jim Robertson says:

    Glad your inner photographer hung in Isabel. I haven’t seen many dark, but strong green iguanas. Nice specimen.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim R – Thanks! I was glad I didn’t fall into the water, and also that he hung around (and stayed still enough) for me to get his portrait. Someone on the adjacent pedestrian walkway/fishing dock told me that they’re an invasive species and considered a pest.

  3. My niece and her husband felt fine about their youngsters keeping two iguanas the size of Golden Labs in their bedrooms. I still can’t wrap my head around the film monster creeps that gave me. The entire family was heartbroken, I gather, when they moved to Switzerland and had to find alternative lodgings for their pets.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Good grief. I don’t mind a pet lizard in a terrarium, but not when the whole house is the terrarium . . .

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