Lucy’s July Fourth Portrait
She has been with us for two months.
She is eleven inches long and very wide.
She is officially a juvenile dragon.
Actually, Lucy is a Lucifer.
When you choose names for pets
that are not dimorphic
Choose gender neutral names
if it matters to you.
This sad photo was filed under the title, “Day One”.
I thought this little creature was so cute.
That’s all I knew about Dragons.
What I didn’t know is that she was horribly dehydrated.
She was malnourished.
The bend in her tail was symptomatic of MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease)
Caused by a calcium deficiency.
The supervisor of the exotic animals at the chain pet store
Told me to feed mealworms as you see here.
I had no idea that they have virtually no nutritional value
and the exoskeleton causes impaction in dragons.
Crickets have little nutritional value unless they are gut-loaded before feeding.
She didn’t mention that when she sold me the crickets.
Of course, I assumed that Dragons drink water.
The display at the store contained a bowl of water like this one.
Dragons do not recognize standing water as something you drink if you are a dragon…
You must either drop water on their noses or mist them a couple of times a day.
Dishes of water in an enclosed terrarium cause respiratory illness.
Dragons are desert animals who require very low humidity in their habitats.
Of course, I ordered the definitive Dragon manual.
And I began to search the Internet for information on dragons.
I was so confused that I was in a panic about what to do.
Then, I found Joe Cattey of South Texas Dragons
Joe lives in San Antonio which is about 100 miles from Victoria
Just a hop and a skip in Texas.
Joe told me what to do.
He supplies Lucy’s Dubia roaches which are high in protein.
Joe told me that Lucy was dehydrated and instructed me to soak her in a warm bath
for 15-20 minutes several times a week.
Dragons have vents (Cloaca) like parrots
They absorb water through their vents.
As soon as she was well-hydrated, the shrunken skin disappeared.
One problem solved!
Lucy began to gain weight
And one day she shed her old skin.
She was healthy and growing at last!
Dragons require specialized care.
Most pet store dragons die within the first year.
People, like me, think they’re cute and take them home
To die of loving neglect.
Meet Little Lucy.
She is tiny, malnourished, and has MBD.
She was half-price, and cold and wafer-thin and starving.
I brought her home today.
Fed her all the Dubia roaches she could eat!
The Clematis blossoms dried
and remain on the vine
interesting still in the straw version of themselves
Romero sheared the Foxtail Ferns to the ground
As he promised, they sprang from the soil
into mounds of green Foxtail forests.
The leaves of the Bromeliads turned brown
in the winter freeze and
I thought they were dead
Suddenly, a blossom appeared from the ruin
The Bird’s Nest Ferns
with their leather leaves
are spilling over their pots
in a kind of celebration of the coming summer
The Pintas are busy making new buds
and blossoms too
New leaves spring up like green Seahorses
from the centers of the ferns
And Miss Lily has returned
to make the garden her own.
Miss Lily has been my photographic nemesis
When I got my first camera,
I tried to photograph her, with little success.
There was a problem with light and color
and all of those green stems in her center.
I haven’t had much more success in recent years.
There is just something about Miss Lily
that doesn’t like my camera.
Last year, I gave up the struggle and
simply watched her bloom and retire for the winter.
I was convinced that my first photographic subject
would forever be my worst.
This year, I enjoy watching her through the porch screen,
and I photograph her sometimes in the afternoon light.
We have arrived at a truce of sorts in which I make no demands
and she usually refuses to smile on my efforts.
I continue to reach for that Miss Lily portrait that lives in my head.
Perhaps, one day when the stars decree it.
When Rita’s Wax Myrtle tree leafed out this spring
She immediately set about expertly pruning it
As she does every spring.
She removed every twig of new growth
From the main branches of the tree.
It was as if she knew precisely how to trim a tree!
As She always does, she settled on her favorite branch
For a work break
Only when she finished trimming the tree
And was agreeable to come down for the ride home!