I am, at times, easily distracted. Those who know me well know this, and understand that I can be focused and on-task one moment, and in a totally different place the next. The population of brown and green anoles that inhabit the area surrounding my home provide me with a constant source of distraction, the cause of many an “oooh, shiny!” moment for me. I am fascinated by the little buggers.
Since moving into our Palm Bay home I have named all the lizards I see Stanley; it’s a family joke, taken from the GEICO commercial where a woman sees the trademark gecko in a hotel lobby and mistakes him for her former boyfriend, Stanley. My son Dylan thought it was funny when he was 8 and we were new to Florida; now that he’s almost 11, he just shakes his head at me when I tell him about the latest “Stanley” I’ve seen. His pre-adolescent mind has grown somewhat immune to the charm of the anoles, and I can tell by the roll of the eyes and the sigh that he figures his mom’s lost it. He’s a good boy, though, and he humors me when I tear him away from his computer or his LEGOs to show him “Big Daddy Stanley” on the back window screen, “Teeny Tiny Stanley” in the palm fronds out front, or “Ginger Stanley” with his little red head, sitting on the wide brick sill of the bedroom window. He gives me my moment of deference before slowly backing off to return to whatever more exciting thing he was doing before I called him to join me in staring at a lizard out the window. He’s kind of outgrown the Stanley thing; I continue to be fascinated.
The screen in my kitchen window was old and full of holes, and it finally blew off the window completely a few months ago during a crazy thunderstorm. I should replace it, but I keep putting it off because it has become a hangout for a steady stream of my little lizard friends, and I enjoy watching them while I wash dishes and cook dinner. This “Kitchen Window Stanley” kept me company for an entire morning last week, and, safe behind the glass window pane, let me shoot its picture. Close up, to my eye, they look sort of prehistoric. And fascinating.