We were at the old Seven Mile Bridge when I saw my first iguana. Look! An iguana! Click, click, click... He's huge! He was brown, with a little bit of orange on his legs. On the way back from our walk, I saw another. He was mostly orange, with spikes running down his spine and a striped tail. Click, click, click...
Once you start to see the iguanas, you realize that they are everywhere. As we drove south on US 1, we saw many of them basking in the sun on the road's shoulder. When we stopped for lunch, I realized that they were in the trees, too. You might think you're alone but in Florida, you're not. There's always an iguana or two lurking in the trees.
Our boat captain for our dolphin watch and snorkel cruise told us that iguanas are not native to Florida. He's right - I checked. It's thought that they were pets that grew too big and were discarded by their owners, or perhaps they escaped their cages, or even arrived on a cargo ship. The Florida climate really agrees with them and their population has exploded over the last few decades.
They're not really harmful but I guess they can do some damage to your expensive landscaping. They also carry salmonella in their poop. Yuck. While all the ones that I shot were lazily sunning themselves, if you corner them, they'll get aggressive. Native Floridians don't care much for the iguanas.
I, on the other hand, fell in love with them. I love the squirrels and chipmunks here at home too so maybe I just have a soft spot for all the pesky-yet-charming sorts of critters.