Thursday, October 20, 2005

Catch, photograph, and release

Gecko anatomy

Our cats kill any gecko unfortunate enough to wander into our house - not out of malice, but simply because they pounce on it and play with it until the poor things invariably die, to be discovered by us a few months later, tucked under some rug, dried up and dessicated.

As result of this, my wife and I make every effort to capture and relocate geckos that wander in. By "capture", I mean me standing on a ladder with a tupperware container trying to corner a terrified gecko up on the ceiling. By "relocate", I mean me taking the gecko out and letting him go on the wall in the corridor, near a nice ceiling light where he can feast on insects that congregate there - and hopefully not come back into our apartment!

After I caught this little fellow, I thought I should take the opportunity to photograph him. The tupperware container was tranluscent, not transparent, so I got a spare piece of glass from the study to place underneath him. K helped me hold him up against the light, and very astutely suggested that the lighting would be much better if we diffused the light, which meant putting a piece of white paper over the lamp. I took this photo from below, after about 20 tries (yes, that's how long it takes: fiddly set up, moving lizard, and a camera autofocus not quite up to focusing on a near object with harsh backlighting).

He's so tiny (only about 2 inches in real life) you can see right through him - lungs, vertabrae, and what sees to be a gut full of semi-digested insect. (take a look at the bigger version in flickr)

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4 comments:

said...

the photo grossed me out, and reminded me of a recent "kill" that Belle made. it was a baby lizard, horribly pink and translucent. but like in your photo, there were black bits. *shudder*

tscd said...

I miss the little house lizards and the clicking noises they make at night.

wahj said...

Yeah, I've always liked lizards as well, and appreciated their role in keeping in the insect (esp mosquito) population in check.

Unfortunately, with 3 very bored, very energetic cats around the house, lizards do not stand much of a chance at all. You'd think they'd be safe as long as they stayed on the ceiling, but, judging by the number of lizard corpses, either enough lizards are stupid enough to come within a cats pounce, or our cats pounce much higher than we think.

(completely unrelated: word verification for this post is bppppy. How do they generate these strings of letters?)

ampulets said...

oh...your photo just reminded me of my lizard story for this week. It took place in my horribly messy and germy cubicle. I was standing by the cupboards, talking on my mobile, and noticed (on a pile of invite cards) a little stalk I thought was from a bunch of grapes. And just when I was about to flick it off the cards...I looked a little more carefully. Dried up carcass of a baby lizard! Eeeeewww! lucky i stopped on time!