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Chameleons, 2020 Edition
April 6, 2020

With the world having plunged in utter chaos, looking at those pictures taken in the Constantia garden in February 2020 B.C. (Before COVID) makes me smile. They are such a good antidote to stress and worry. Boy George is right—they come and go—but I have yet to fail finding at least one chameleon, on any given trip to Cape Town, somewhere in the garden or the adjacent green belt. Meeleon These are photos of the same specimen hanging out in a tree at the bottom of the garden, over multiple days. Any garden chameleon...

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Chameleons revisited
December 26, 2013

I guess we all have habits, rituals that create a protective comfort bubble within which to feel safe. Here is one of mine: As soon as practical after arriving in Cape Town, I pay my chameleons a visit with my cameras. They live in four specific trees in a Constantia green belt and have been there as long as I have visited, almost seven years now. I have rarely seen them anywhere else, but on that spot, regular as clockwork, I normally find five to twelve of them within a fifteen meter radius. Those of you who have...

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Constantia Chameleons - 2012 Pilgrimage
December 26, 2012

The green belt in Constantia is changing. Some areas are being cleared, others encouraged to flourish. Paths are drawn, bridges rebuilt. After an obviously wet spring, the belt looks lush and fresh, covered in flowers. But the chameleon habitat seems threatened. Of course chameleons are probably spread out in multiple spots but the few low trees or bushes where I have been finding them year after year are now more isolated, the grass around them being mowed on a semi-regular basis. These chameleons seem to need high...

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Cape Dwarf Chameleons, Annual Visit
January 5, 2011

Every year around this time, I pay multiple visits to the Constantia Cape dwarf chameleons (Bradypodion pumilum, I believe, thanks Jay and Guy for the great book!) - counting them, scouting for new habitat and informally studying their behavior and color patterns. They are fascinating and while not necessarily noted as territorial by the literature, I have been finding them over and over again in the same line of little trees.  Last year, I counted 12 individuals all within 20 or 30 meters of each other with the...

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Even more chameleons...
February 2, 2010

Ok, this has become more than a hobby, I now feel under a pseudo-scientific obligation to document the whereabouts of those absolutely adorable creatures. We've finally found Cape Dwarf Chameleons in a different area, much closer to the house, which lets us hope they might some day come back to the garden - even though we suspect there could be too many carnivorous birds around the house to allow chameleons to move back in. They seem to favour the bright green livery no matter what they stand on and I've only seen a few...

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More Cape Dwarf Chameleons
February 1, 2010

Marie and I have now found a minimum of 10 individuals, 4 of which are much smaller and probably younglings... They all live in a 20 to 30 meter radius of each other, and we still have to find a single chameleon outside of that area. The reason is still unknown. We've decided to be discreet about their location to protect their privacy; Cape Dwarf Chameleons are, after all, endangered. Anybody with valuable information about the species and an iron-clad reference letter can apply here for conditional Constantia location...

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