I was standing there at the door, looking out the windows at the green space that fronts our townhouse, taking in the serenity and glad I was not out in the heat of the day just yet. Then, I saw him.
Our little green anole, who I have affectionately named Alvin, was sitting on top of one of the (to him and really, to me too) towering leaves of our elephant ear plant that stands just at the front of the house off the porch and threatens every day to block the dawn peregrinations of my neighbor. He was on the top leaf, not the largest but certainly large enough to make a nice platform for a few ounces of scaly green lizard.
He turned and saw me (he always sees me, sometimes before I see him, especially when he is hiding in the cucumber vines in the courtyard), gave that little sideways cock of his head and the side eye that says “Whaaaat?”, then turned away. He was splayed out on the top of this giant leaf, front legs lightly grasping (do anoles grasp?) , hind legs straight out in that “Oh, my God, if I did that I would rupture myself!” kind of way that lizards do. Then, he did something that cracked me up. He pulled himself up to the large notch that elephant ear leaves have, pushed his head through the notch slightly and scratched his chin! Not once, but three times. Like a small green bear grinding against a tree in a national park to scratch his back, but not.
I watched, now entertained and hooked. Alvin began to maneuver across this anole-green leaf (you just thought the lizard changed colors to match his surroundings…) sidling up to the edge, backing up slowly, finding that perfect balance between “ahhhhh….” and “AHHHHHHHHHHH!” He would inch up, further, further, further, until his Lilliputian girth would begin to bend the delicate tropical appendage down just a hair, just a a smidge, then back to let it spring back again to regain the post-summer-shower turgor that keeps these unwieldy leaves somehow upright. He was playing, was Alvin. Back and forth, almost to the point of no return and a slide down to the pine straw below, but recovering just in time to slither back toward the spine of the leafus pachydermous. He was playing, I tell you.
Alvin weighs about 4 grams. Not much of that is brain matter.
I weigh (considerably more than Alvin). My brain weighs three pounds on a hot summer day if I am reasonably hydrated.
I used my brain a lot today.
Alvin took time away from foraging to experiment with the turgor, tipping point and elasticity of elephant ear leaves.
I think Alvin had more fun playing today than I did.
Is there a lesson to be learned here?