I have neglected my sweet Sammy!

I had fun playing with the image above, but this post is not about graphics manipulation.

It is about life.

A life devoid of passion

Is not a life,

It is an existence.


One morning this week, I woke up late.

I leaped out of bed and raced to the kitchen.

The chameleons had not been misted for twelve hours!

I filled the mister with warm water and started misting Hugo’s cage.


When I got to Sam’s cage, I paid no attention to his whereabouts.

I don’t have the automatic misting system in place yet, so I have to mist manually.

When I put the mister inside the cage, Sam crawled onto the top and onto my hand.

Then, he proceeded up my arm onto my shoulder.


I paid no attention to him since he often crawls onto my hand or arm inside the cage.

When I finished misting, he was investigating my hair and crawling all around my shoulders.

Since he was having such fun, I decided to photograph his adventure.

I found a media card and the camera and walked over to the big mirror in the dining room.

As I looked through the viewfinder, I had no idea whether any of the photos would work in that light.


Immediately, he crawled up my face  and held onto my hair.

I suppose he decided there was no foothold there,

so he came back down.

His little claws are sharp!


I really couldn’t see him very well, but I could see that the camera strap was impeding his progress.

When I moved it, he continued down toward my arm.


Finally, he reached my elbow and onto my arm.

I decided since I could no longer see him well that his adventure was over.

He needed his morning bath and a good drink of water,

so I let him crawl onto my arm and off onto a branch in his cage.

I never pick him up, but I let him choose to come to me whenever he likes.


As anyone who has followed me for very long knows,

I am totally shameless.

I realized that I was still dressed in night clothes,

but my passion for the animals rendered

That fact irrelevant.


A number of people have said that they think my attitude is extraordinary

Or that I am brave in the face of death.

Neither is true.

I have always had a passion for whatever I was doing.

Oh, I complain often and loudly about even work that I love,

But, I am not often serious about the complaints,

And voicing my feelings has allowed me to dismiss negativity

And to focus on whatever interested me.

I am not dying.

I am living until I die.

There is a difference, you know.

Passion for life and work

Is that difference.

Sitting around waiting to die

is just not something I can manage to work up a passion for!


28 Comments on “Passion

  1. Amazed by how you turn a mundane morning ritual with your chameleon into a beautiful, inspiring post! I feel privileged to know you dear George 🙂


    • Ha-ha! Walter Matthau! What a clever observation. I think so too! Sam was just climbing upwards as Chameleons do. He saw nothing of interest at the top of my head, so he climbed back down. I think that’s probably it. Thank you, Richard. I enjoy my little chameleons so very much. They are absolutely fascinating to watch. I think the Veiled Chameleons are more interesting than the Leopards like Hugo. At least, Sammy is more interesting to me. 🙂


  2. You are just brilliant and see your world with the best eyes! You are an extraordinary person and many could learn from you ! I am so happy to be following you and reading your posts. Hugs and love ! Utexx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Ute! You are too kind. Thank you. I love all of my critters. They are all fascinating animals. I suppose I prefer wild creatures to domesticated ones. There is something about them that is independent and cannot be “tamed”. I think it’s their spirit that appeals to me. You can persuade them, but you can never force them. They require patience and respect that we have bred out of dogs and cats, yet they are sentient creatures. Thank you for the hugs and love, Ute! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, good stuff, George! Shameless is the way to be, and the same goes for doing things with passion – I have always tried to do things “flat out”, i.e. with maximum application and effort, and maybe that’s my version of passion!

    And two quotes from this post and its comments that I particularly like. First you: “I am not dying. I am living until I die.” – that’s a wonderful and very valuable attitude to have.

    And then ShimonZ: “All of us are going to die, and none of us know when, exactly. Best to live life as best we can, and not worry about death, which is a sure thing.” – what absolutely wise, basic and fundamental good sense! If only we were all as clear thinking as that!

    George, my dear, I hope you’re contented and happy. Adrian xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you said what I tried to say better than I said it. I do things “flat-out” too. I have a genuine passion for the wild creatures that I keep. I have always been single-minded about whatever work I did. Focused too much, probably. I don’t recall ever having been bored in my life. It astounds me to hear people say that. How could anyone be “bored” with so many things around us to discover? I don’t have time to be dying. It’s as simple as that. Chuckle… Thank you, as always, Adrian. My good friend!


  4. Some truly wonderful pictures today George. And your approach to your current state is an inspiration to so many people. Somehow your posts dropped off the radar and I was unaware of your condition until the last week. I posted a message to you on one of your other blogs a few days ago, I do hope that is reached you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Andy! I finally got back to that post and did see your comment. I thank you for your perspective as a physician! I have seen a lot of death and dying, too. And, it is remarkable the ways in which people choose to die. And I say, “choose”, to apply to those of us who are old enough for death to be acceptable to us. I would have reacted very differently at forty, I can assure you. I would have been horrified by the prospect of having to leave my young child and my work. My heart goes out to young people who know they face early deaths. There is nothing remarkable about my approach to my own death. I am fortunate to have finished my work here and to have had so many experiences in my life. How greedy it would be to demand more years! I have had it all, Andy. And I am just playing and loving every minute of it now. Chuckle… Thank you, Andy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I admire your fortitude George. None of us can know or imagine how we might cope when faced with the inevitable. This is a great quote which sums up for me the positivity you so bravely display: ‘Be positive as you get older or more dependent. Don’t mourn the things you’ve lost. Concentrate on what you have and all you still can do’.


  5. Stunning pictures George! So vibrant and full of life – much like you. My son’s name is Samuel and we often call him Sammy so we are chuckling – thinking your chameleon and my son are starting to look alike. ha. Thanks for another inspiring post.


  6. Wonderful post, George! I heartily applaud your attitude. We must all decide to live life to the fullest we are able, until we die. We owe it not only to ourselves, but also to our friends and family who love and care about our well-being. These are such marvellous photos, all of them, and I can see that you really had a lot of fun with that first one. 😀


  7. Best. Post. Ever.
    The photo of Sammy on your face says so much.
    Just now we had a Pileated woodpecker at the suet – just a foot or two from the glass door – with chickadees galore, flickers, and the impossibly brilliant little Townsends warbler. A treat for us, and I think it felt a bit like your morning felt. Without the scratches.
    And that first image is crazy-in-a-great-way!!!


  8. You sure are living George! I just love the photo of him going up the side of your face 🙂 LOL! What a character. He’s ever so happy to be sat on your shoulder! Sammy has a fabulous crest and lovely markings 🙂


  9. Thank God or Dog that you are living until you die, because along the way of that living you are bringing a wealth of joy to your lucky readers and your lucky reptilian companions. These images are so unpretentiously wonderful! That last one of Sammy looks like he’s worshiping you, though I’m sure you disapprove of worship. But in his little world, you probably are somewhat of a deity.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. First, these little guys are simply jewels. I love their colors. They must be happy to have such glorious colors.

    Second, I believe that living consciously is such a blessing. Most people don’t until something tragic wakes them up and invites them to partake in their own lives. Often it’s death, but not always. Any change will do. I don’t feel badly for you or for the countless others out their who are living and knowing that they are living; I feel badly for the countless more who are on auto-pilot and missing their lives completely because they don’t or won’t make the effort to be aware. ❤


  11. There is not a single one of us that is not moving toward death from the moment we are born. It is what we do with the days we are given that matters. “Living until I die” – words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your photos, words, and even your nightie with us – but most importantly, your time.


  12. George, you are such an inspiration to me, and always have been! I’m so very honored to have you as my friend all these years. You continue to share and teach me valuable life lessons! God will continue to bless you because of the love you have for all types of people, AND animals. I remember years ago someone said when they are reincarnated, they want to come back as one of your pets! Your pets, friends, and family have been greatly blessed by your love, knowledge, and humor. Continue enjoying each day because that’s what makes it the present! Love you, Glenda


  13. I don’t know how on earth you got such cute photos of little Sam under such adverse circumstances!!! I wondered what he thought of his reflection in the mirror. He seems to be looking directly ahead in some of the pictures. He’s SO cute!


  14. Joanna made me proceed through the images SLOWLY (twice!). We both enjoyed them very much. Joanna says, “Your chameleons are very beautiful and very lucky.” And I say, please don’t race! Sometimes racing has negative results! Racing, in this neck of the woods, while outside, usually results in a slip and a fall. I had wondered why I was having so much trouble negotiating the topography around the barns lately and then took a look at the soles of my boots … NO TREAD … NONE! I tossed them in the trash and am now borrowing a pair that a friend left behind after a recent visit. I hope you are well and anticipating the coming Holiday. Joanna is sitting to my right, trying to convince her computer to spit out mailing labels for her annual holiday greeting. D


  15. You. make good. and practical sense, actually. I wish I’d thought of it. And why not keep on living anyhow. You keep color and light flickering with these unique creatures and life lessons. Looks life you did and continue to do all you came here for.for


  16. I think you’ve got an intelligent attitude towards life. I feel much the same. All of us are going to die, and none of us know when, exactly. Best to live life as best we can, and not worry about death, which is a sure thing. Liked the pictures. Doesn’t make much difference to most of your readers, I would guess, whether you’re in your night clothes or day clothes. Glad you’re having fun.


  17. Extraordinary, gutsy, passionate, fascinating, wonderful, entertaining, fabulous, and I’m blessed you are my friend – even if ‘only’ on the webisphere x


  18. What an extraordinary post, George. I enjoyed the easy way you interact with your little friend, and also your thoughts about life, living, and passion. Mmm…what I mean is….what an extraordinary person!



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