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Lacerta viridis. (44)
peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Lacerta viridis (Laurenti, 1768)

Eastern European Green Lizard
Smaragdeidechse
Зеленият гущер

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Lacertidae
Genus: Lacerta

Mating time has come again.

Fresh colours of spring all around Vienna in these days are a good reason to interrupt my report on Cuba for a posting from my native country.

The edges of vineyards south of Vienna are a good place to meet some surprisingly colourful and large lizards. Very wary and quick, they will usually draw your attention just by noisily darting through the fresh green vegetation into shelters in the scrubs, giving you little chance to see them for more than a few very short moments. You need to be lucky and very patient, and moving really slowly to approach a male lizard defending an outlook position on a rock from where it can spot a bride or chase away rivaling males.

Returning to the same spot in intervals of several minutes, this one, a fully grown young male, finally allowed me to get close enough for a decent shot. It was the first time that I could notice its terrifying claws as long and thin as sharp needles.

Visiting the same place a few days later, I even had a short chance to see male and female together - well hidden in the grass.

For more details on the species please see a previous posting taken exactly three years ago.

Location: Eichkogel, Moedling: Piles of stones along the vineyards.

The camera:
SONY DSC-HX1, 3456 x 2592 pixel, sRGB, 100mm tele (equivalent 560mm at full size SLR), F/5.2, 1/800 sec., ISO-125, bias -0.3, hand held, no flash, 25.04.2010, 12:25.

Postwork:
Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to the web, selectively resharpened, levels slightly adjusted.

Thank you for looking. Have a very good day.

Altered Image #2

peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
The location.
Edited by:peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)

Walls of stones piled up several generations ago without any use of mortar: the perfect home for Emerald Lizards in the vineyards south of Vienna.

Altered Image #1

peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Laceta viridis couple in love.
Edited by:peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)

Visiting the same spot a few days later, I even had a very short chance to see that lizard with its lady - well hidden in the grass. Not a good picture, but as a documentary it might do.

The camera: SONY DSC-HX1, 3456 x 2592 pixel, sRGB, 100mm tele (equivalent 560mm at full size SLR), F/5.2, 1/800 sec., ISO-125, bias -0.3, hand held, no flash, 30.04.2010, 10:32.

Hope you enjoy.