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July 2024 Photo Contest

Focus on Texas: Shells and Scales

Go ahead and get up close to these critters

Slithering and silently sneaking their way to the top this month are creatures that use their shells and scales as disguises, protection and even homes. Let’s appreciate their photos, even if they might give us pause in real life.

Cyril Fernandes, Pedernales EC: “The green anole is found throughout the eastern third of Texas, and it can change color from brown to green. Males have a pink throat fan called a dewlap that can be puffed up.”

Rick Kieffer, Bluebonnet EC: “Spotted this little guy while camping at Cedar Breaks Park on Lake Georgetown.”

Teresa Moulds, Big Country EC: “While this eastern hognose poses, a gorgone checkerspot alights on its head. The snake was in display mode, stretching the skin around head and neck in an effort to scare away large predators, me in this case.”

Holli Preuss, Pedernales EC: “We were sitting outside enjoying a nice evening and noticed this guy. He was watching us too! It’s a male green anole sitting on top of a freshly trimmed red tip photinia.”

John Hobbs, Bryan Texas Utilities: “A green anole peeking out of a lily bloom in Brazos County.”

Alisha Snodgrass, Southwest Texas EC: “My husband came across this little guy while walking with the kids just as the sun started to set.”

Sharon Kirby, Fayette EC: “Last May, my twin sister and I took a birding trip to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. While walking along a dirt path paralleled by a canal, we heard a huge splash and a crunch. Texas is wild!”

Barry Veazey, Navasota Valley EC: “She would come out of hiding whenever she heard my voice, which she recognized as source of food and water during the drought.”

Amanda Hoenke, CECA: “Tiny shell, so cute!”

Laura Williams, Big Country EC: “Perhaps this lizard has confidence in its scaly camo to match the peeling pink paint and exposed wood.”

Ken Jurney, United Cooperative Services: “Shells and shadows on Galveston’s West Beach.”

Tina Webb, Bluebonnet EC: “My nephew, Rylan, with his prize catch.”

Tessa Kolodny, Bandera EC: “A Chihuahuan greater earless lizard on the Grapevine Hills Trail in Big Bend National Park.”

Tammy Johnson, HILCO EC: “Pop, the bearded dragon, enjoys soaking up the Texas sun.”

Justin “J.R.” Bishop, Victoria EC: “I ran across a stone crab catching some rays on a family fishing trip down at Port O’Connor.”

Joann Lowe, Pedernales EC: “Snails are everywhere in our wildflower garden. We’ve learned that spreading coffee grounds deters them, and this one came out from inside the pot at record speed!”