YELAPA, Mexico - It was only six months ago that this shot was taken, but it seems like an eternity.
At that time, Sabbatical was still in Puerto Vallarta and we took a tour boat ride along with several friends - including Dan Olsen who shot this photo - to the village of Yelapa, about which I think I wrote at the time.
Now, Sabbatical is in San Diego with a big For Sale sign on it, son Dustin is living in Puerto Vallarta fulltime, and I'm sitting in Valois New York, looking out at Seneca Lake, trying to calculate exactly how much beer to carry on today's boating expedition (about three miles down the lake) and if we have enough gasoline to make it down and back to cousin Ruth's dock.
When I posed with the iguana, it was a good thing I had already consumed several bottles of Pacifico (my favorite Mexico beer) because those critters cling to your shoulder with their claws. The claws aren't sharp, but damn, there is power in them and it reminded me of having full-grown parrots on my shoulder. Having any animal with big teeth (or a sharp beak) really close to my ears and nose is not my idea of having a good time.
But I'm smiling in the photo... (Thanks, Pacifico.)
There are no iguanas in upstate New York, not even much in the reptile family, except for rattlesnakes about which I was warned about this past week. "Timber rattlers six feet long," I was told by the fellow of picks up our trash every Friday and who loves to jaw for a half-hour when he stops.
He's deathly afraid of snakes and carries a .357 magnum revolver in his truck in case he encounters any snakes in his daily routine.
I would love to walk out some Friday morning with a four-foot long iguana on my shoulder just to see his reaction. Well, as long as he couldn't reach his gun, anyway.