How tough are times in parts of the US these days? Look at the grade of hobo that can be found wandering the rails of the Deep South.
The above Carolina anole, about six inches long, kept up a steady pace about four feet in front of me as I walked down the Norfolk Southern tracks in the late afternoon hours near Silverstreet, SC, earlier this week. That the steel tracks, having baked in the broiling sun all day, were quite hot didn’t dissuade the diminutive reptile from its smooth, straight path.
When I would attempt to get a close-up photo, the anole would hop off the rail, scamper across a railroad tie and jump up onto the other rail. This went on for several minutes before it finally grew tired and sat atop the track with its mouth agape, a threat of sorts, one supposes.
Carolina anoles have the ability to change colors, from dark brown to bright green, depending on their background, though they’re not considered true chameleons.
While their bite is relatively painless, anoles will grip hard enough and with enough tenacity that they can dangle from an earlobe and even a nose if given the opportunity. This tends to be more entertaining for children than spouses, or so I have heard.
I eventually took the above critter, worn out from its rail-hopping antics, and placed it in a patch of cool, leafy shade. It scuttled away into the green grass, blending in quickly.