While I was roaming around the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, trying to get a new perspective on Fire Wave, I ran across this rather large lizard!

I had no idea what it was when I photographed her, but she’s a Chuckwalla! I’ve never heard of a Chuckwalla before.

It turns out they are a stocky wide-bodied lizard with a flattened midsection and prominent belly about 15 inches long. I believe this one is a female.

Chuckwalla in the Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, by Anne McKinnell
Please click the image to view a larger version.

It’s wonderful to discover new things like this while out in nature.

The only problem was that because I had rented a wide angle lens and was playing with that, I didn’t bring my telephoto lens along. I made this photo with my Sony NEX6 and the 18-55 lens. In post-processing I cropped the original image to less than 1/4 of it’s size. I’m pretty impressed with the sharpness even with such a severe crop.

After I saw her I crept up ever so slowly, moving only inches at a time, and stopping frequently so she wouldn’t be alarmed. You can see she has her eye on me and her escape plan ready to put into action. She let me get pretty close, but eventually she crawled into the hole never to be seen again (at least by me).

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5 Responses to “Chuckwalla”

  1. Very nice shot. It has the warmth and mystery of the rock formations along with the light and a kind of wonder in the look of the being.

  2. Nice dragon you captured there, Anne! I sure like chuckwallas. When threatened, they can inflate their bodies to wedge themselves into crevices. I wish we had them up here at Deep Springs, but we’re just a little too cold for them.
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  3. John Daly says:

    What great fun. Kind of looks like a Komodo in miniture.

  4. Not exactly the sort of creature we would see on Vancouver Island is it? :)
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  5. That really is impressive for such a huge crop! Lizards & Geckos here always scurry off too quick before I can get a closeup. Save for the sunbathers. I think they’re just feeling way too good to be bothered to rush off anywhere, heh.
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