For The Love Of A Dragon


Little Lucy loves sitting on my shoulder.

When I returned from the ranch last weekend,

she had the classic stress pattern on her underside.


She wasn’t eating much

and she was spending a lot of time in her cave.

Otherwise, she looked healthy.


I was busy planning for the new chameleon cage arrangement

and consulting with the breeders, the cage builder and ordering

the necessary environmental elements for the insides of the cages.

Since both chameleons will be housed side by side on a rack,

there was a great deal of planning to do.


I tried everything to make her happy.

I added a basking light which usually does the trick.

No luck.Β  Nothing was working.

Finally, today I took her out of her cage and held her.

The pattern on her chest disappeared.

She turned white with happiness.



As usual, when I sat down at my desk, she climbed down my arm onto the desk

and scooted under the monitor to the back of the desk

where she always sits to look out the window.

Since I felt so guilty for not holding her this week,

I gave her another treat.

She loves her “hot tub” soak.

I keep the temperature at about 100 degrees with the lid on the container.

This hydrates her very well and feels good to her too.


Oh, the things we will do for the love of a dragon!


46 Comments on “For The Love Of A Dragon

    • When I first read a post on your blog, I wondered how I missed it for so long. It’s absolutely the most interesting, positive blog I’ve seen in a very long time. I wish I had more time left to always read it. I am pushing myself now. Chuckle… Too much to do and too little time. Even for sleep, sometimes! Chuckle… But I enjoy so very many things that I will never be able to decide what to give up! πŸ™‚ So, I don’t worry about it. I just keep leaping out of bed in the mornings in my excitement to start the new day! Thank you for your kindness. Real kindness is a joy!


    • I”m sorry I just saw this! Yes, it’s amazing how sentient these creatures really are. They have distinct personalities. Some of them bond with humans and some are very independent, but all of them learn to be held without fear. Big Lucy is less fond of being held, but even he enjoys my talking to him and loves his bath. Little Lucy is very attached to me and isn’t happy if I don’t hold her every day. She retreats to her cave and won’t eat! Now, that’s crazy! Chuckle… I appreciate your comment on the photos. I am so shaky that it’s very difficult for me to hold the camera. But, I refuse to give it up. Of course. I refuse to give up absolutely anything that I have a passion for! I’ll stop when I’m dead. πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much, Madhu. You’ve always been so very kind!


    • Oh, dear, Cardinal! I didn’t see this until just now! The cognitive function slipping… Chuckle… They get used to the warm water if you start when they are babies. They enjoy the heat and the feel of it, I think. I close the lid so it’s like a sauna! The reason for doing it is to keep them well-hydrated. They absorb water through their vents. Dragons don’t drink from standing water since they are Australian desert animals and get their water from dew and licking it off leaves and rocks and eating whatever green leaves they can find. I feed Kale and Collard greens dripping wet so they get water there. I keep it sprayed or changed throughout the day. OH, and you should see Little Lucy “swimming” in her bath. It’s hysterical. She splashes and swirls around just as if she were swimming. Big Lucy just sits in his. I guess he’s way too macho to act silly in his bath. As you can see, I adore these critters. Thanks so much for visiting. I have seen some cool work of yours on other blogs. I don’t read the Reader often or get email notices so I miss lots of my old blogger friends. I don’t have much time left, so I am trying to post as much as I can for my grandson, Charlie. πŸ™‚


      • Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to have some of photos posted here and there. πŸ™‚
        You don’t have much time left? Are you sick? Old? Anyway, it’s good that you’re posting for Charlie.


    • Would that we could! Humans are far too self-centered, I’m afraid. I guess we wouldn’t have survived otherwise once we threw off our fur coats and began to systematically destroy the planet and each other, as I’m always saying! Other animals only kill for food. Yes, I am fond of Little Lucy since she exhibits such an attachment to me. I feel bad if I fail to hold her. And she looks unhappy too. Good grief! A reptile loves me. Imagine… The idea amuses me. Actually, the dragons are sentient creatures with emotional responses that they clearly exhibit. And they bond with humans. Thanks, Linda. πŸ™‚


    • The dragons respond to people. They are intelligent creatures. She is particularly bonded with me. That is typical of some dragon personalities. And, they do have distinct personalities like cats and birds. Many of their characteristics are like parrots. She was very happy to be back to her normal activity… Hanging out on me for a bit every day. I don’t allow it for long because she gets cold when she should be basking to digest her food, etc. Even if you never held them, they are absolutely fascinating to watch. I house them in my kitchen, of all places, between the kitchen and the living area on what is supposed to be a bar. Chuckle… That’s how I know them so very well. Thanks, Richard!


    • Thanks, Charlene. She is a sweet dragon. Big Lucy couldn’t care less, but he will let me hold him and likes for me to talk to him through the terrarium and reach in and pet him. He loves running around the screen porch. I can’t let him hang out on me since he might leap off onto the slate floor and hurt himself. He’s a beauty. Big and handsome. She’s smaller and has the coloration of a rattlesnake, I think. I love both of the dragons, but I worry about her if she behaves in the slightest way that is different! Chuckle… She is spoiled, I think. Ya think? Chuckle… You are going to love your dragons when you get them!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love the wonderful photos of Little Lucy nestling on your shoulder. “White with happiness’ really made me smile. πŸ™‚ What a lovely companions you are to one another. Hugs to you, George. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sylvia. I do love the animals and I appreciate Little Lucy’s bond with me. She is far more sensitive than the male, Big Lucy. What he wants is food, basking light, and having me talk to him. He does allow me to reach into his cage to pet him and will tolerate being held, but he would leap off my shoulder to explore the whole house if I actually turned loose of him! Once in a great while, I allow him to wander around the screened porch. He loves that, I think. He probably needs the exercise. It’s amazing how just holding Little Lucy makes her “smile”. Chuckle… She is spoiled, I suspect! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lucky animal LL is. You are so closely in-tune with her, it’s really quite amazing. You need to write a book George … or a pamphlet, or something. So much knowledge. You’re the best. D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dave, but there is tons of information available on dragon care. And, I don’t know as much as you think I do. I care for my animals from a kind of gut instinct, I guess. As you know, we come to read the body language of our animals to understand their emotional and physical states. That is true of any animal that I’ve ever had. A person either “communicates” with animals or he does not. I suppose I like animals more than I like people. At least, sometimes I think so! Chuckle…


    • You would love a bearded dragon. They are fascinating animals. Some of them form bonds with their keepers. Big Lucy doesn’t care as long as he gets his roaches and salads and is able to lounge on his basking rock! He’s funny. I love watching the dragons. I worry about Little Lucy more than anybody else in the “zoo”. She is such a sweetheart. Who knew that a reptile could be so very interesting and nice? Chuckle. Thanks, Naomi!


    • Thanks, Adrian. I love the animals. But, Little Lucy amazes me with her attachment to me. Some dragons are like that, I think. Big Lucy couldn’t care less as long as he has plenty of food and his basking rock! Chuckle. I am doing fine, Adrian!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Ed. I don’t allow Little Lucy to brumate. I have read a lot about that and discovered that it is not necessary in captivity. It can lead to death if the dragon goes into brumation with food in its gut. Many dragons in the wild die during brumation. I take her out and handle her every day and give her a twenty-minute soak often to keep her hydrated and eating when I begin to see her spending too much time in her cave. I may be nuts, but, as I tell Little Lucy, “You are not going to stay in that cave, little girl!” Chuckle… Brumation is an instinctive response from the wild, but not allowing it won’t kill them. πŸ™‚ My male dragon has not had the brumation response.

      Thanks for stopping by, Ed. I appreciate it. I realize that my opinion is not the mainstream opinion. Just sharing what I think. I have to visit you. I hope you’ve posted photos of your dragon! πŸ™‚


    • It amazes me too. Big Lucy couldn’t care less. He’s always fat and happy as long as he has plenty of food and his lazy basking place! Chuckle…


    • Thank you, Nia! It’s good to see you. I’m sorry I haven’t been visiting anybody lately. It seems that time is short now and I never finish what I want to do. I have to get back to the Reader! I appreciate your taking the time to visit and to say such nice things! Lots of love to you, Nia. I hope things in your country are okay for you.


  3. What a fascinating little creature and you’ve captured the detail of her beauty so well. Isn’t incredible how much impact something as simple as a hug can have on living creatures πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, TBD! Thanks for stopping by to visit us! Thank you. It never amazed me with dogs or cats or even the parrots, but I never, ever expected any kind of response from a reptile like the bearded dragons. I began to notice that they looked me in the eye and paid close attention when I talked to them. Then, Little Lucy began to want me to hold her even when she was tiny. The dragons bond with their keepers unlike most reptiles. And, yes, it is incredible. I often think of the dolphins and the tragic way in which we have treated them when it has been discovered that the emotion-response area of their brains is far more developed than our own! We are cruel and ignorant of any species except our own. And, we’re mostly ignorant of that one! Chuckle… If only we were as kind and empathetic as other animals…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Now, you KNOW it’s the D5300. I get far better photos in low light than with the D5100 or with any other camera I ever had. It’s set on auto 99% of the time regardless of the light conditions… As you know… Chuckle…


    • HI, Debra! She’s about 12 inches long now, including the tail. She is really grown up now. I have worried more about her than about any animal I think I ever had. Yes, she is a happy girl now. Good grief! You wouldn’t think a bearded dragon would care, but they do. Thanks for stopping by to visit us, Debra. I appreciate that. πŸ™‚


  4. The photos a blast… the dragons happiness obvious… just missed its companion… hell it does look like it’s enjoying the bath…
    George your photos…. outstanding… what camera are you using??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Rob. I use a relatively cheap Nikon D5300. It has image stabilization and gives me better images in low light than any camera I ever had. It has the highest resolution of any camera on the market short of a full-frame camera which none of us need. That gives me far more data to work with when I edit the images. I use a Nikon 18-300mm lens with vibration reduction. That’s important for me since I have a serious hand tremor. The lens is heavy, but the combination of the heavier camera and the lens helps me to hold the camera steady. I use Photoshop to edit. You can get it for $10 a month if you just buy the program and not the rest of the stuff. It is by far the best editing software that I ever used. I use the Topaz Labs and Nic collection of plug-in programs to do the basic editing. They are both very good. I will send a before and after image to you so you can see that I am able to make the photos presentable even with my shaky hand. One of the Topaz filters is a camera shake reduction filter that works far better than any other I’ve ever used. Photoshop is not difficult to use once you get the plug-ins and choose the ones that you use most to edit your photos. Your photos are professional anyway. I don’t see any need for you to change what you are doing! But, you can read an honest review of the camera and the lens on Ken Rockwell’s website. I buy whatever he recommends, and I have never gone wrong.

      I do so appreciate your comments about my photos, Rob. You are such a pro at wildlife photography that it intimidates me. I cannot imagine how any different equipment could improve them. I don’t know if you have a long lens, but my son-in law uses a 100-400 Cannon lens that gives him far more reach than my focal limit of 300mm. The focus on my lens gets a bit softer at 300 mm, but that isn’t the problem. I just cannot reach far enough. For what I normally photograph, that is not a problem, of course. I have all kinds of lenses, but I’m inclined to use this one as my “walk-around” lens. Chuckle… I’ve never concerned myself with camera settings either. I operate on “auto” almost always without thinking about it. ;-/


      • George you wouldlaugh at my camera… a fugifilm HS10… with a variable zoom lens 28 to 720 mm equivalent. .. but when crawling and sneaking about a big lens would make life difficult… I have accompanied others on trips that have had Canons with huge lens attached… most animals flee when they see that thinking its a gun.. my simple small camera gets the same results as most others without frightening off tge subject… I always manage to get a lot closer than most others due to knowledge and patience and that tends to help me a lot. ..

        Liked by 1 person

        • NO, I would hardly laugh. Fujifilm makes fantastic cameras. The zoom from 28mm to 720mm is incredible. No wonder you can capture such magnificent photos as if you were standing ten feet away! I understand the value of knowledge of your subject, lighting requirements and patience! I depend almost totally on natural light. With the cage photos, it is difficult to position the camera so that the bad light that shines right on top of the animal doesn’t blow out the whole image. You learn from experience. And patience. You better stick with the Fujifilm. I knew you had a great camera. What I was curious about was the focal length of its lens. Now, I understand. You can’t find that combination in any other camera that I know about. Take care of it!! However, no matter how high-end the camera is, the photos will be mediocre or very interesting depending on the eye of the shooter. That’s a fact. With your passion for the animals, you “see” them in ways that others do not. I also knew that about you. πŸ™‚


          • I am saving hard for the fujifilm HS50 it has a range 28 to 1000 mm equivalent. . But need to find R 5 500 which in these days is a lot for me only $380 on amazon but we can’t buy fujifilm on amazon any more… something yo do with an agreement betwΓ¨nthem and ff SA… oh well will get the money together in the end…

            Liked by 1 person

            • Your photography is so very wonderful. I want you to have the new Fujifilm I wonder if I could buy it and send it to you? I’ll find out!! πŸ™‚ Shipping it there would probably cost a small fortune, but I’ll discover what is possible. πŸ™‚


              • George that would be too kind… and yes the shipping would be a fortune… I’ll get the money together, of that you can be certain… but it is a very kind thought, thank you…

                Liked by 1 person


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