Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

A surprise visit from a property owner’s pet iguana reminded me of an old iguana friend.

 

“Marley” and I met in June of 2007. On the walkway between Engineering Department’s doors and the back of the building.

 

He measured at least four feet in length. weighing over ten pounds. And, he blocked my path. Refusing to budge.

 

I stood and stared. Captivated by this amazing, and beautiful, creature.

 

His scales glistened in the bright sun. Showing off a kaleidoscope of hues in green, blue, red, and orange. He had a “third – parietal – eye” on the top of his head. A tall-to-short row of spines – “dewlap” – that ran down his back to the tail. Behind his neck, I saw these small, “spoke” like scales. And, then there was a very large round scale on each cheek.

 

It was my first very close encounter with a Green iguana. Considered a 21st century descendent of the prehistoric Polychrotid lizard.

 

Getting back to Marley. The name I gave him in late 2007, after crossing his path at least weekly.

 

One morning, our meeting was not exactly friendly. I’d needed to leave a freshly-coated exterior corridor, on the second story to help my boss move something very heavy.

 

Upon returning, I found claw marks in the damp, unset paint. And, Marley lying, leisurely, at the top of the steps that I’d rolled out less than a half-hour earlier.

 

The frustrating point came next. No matter what I did, the iguana would not move. Even when three young guests, in swim trunks, appeared at the foot of the steps.

 

My first instinct: Protect the three boys. Position myself between them and the iguana. That worked fine with the two older children.

 

The youngest, however, ignored me – and the WET PAINT signs. He ran onto the wet surface. Toward the iguana.

 

“AN’MAL! AN’MAL!” he shouted happily. “AN’MAL! Come here.”

 

Well, the “an’mal” raised on all fours. He swished that tail a couple of times. Then, he jumped from the second story landing, to the ground beneath. Scurrying toward the nearest clump of dense bushes.

 

The youngest boy following closely behind. “AN’MAL! AN…..’MAL!”

 

His big brothers chased after him. “NO, DAVID.” “Stop, Davie.”

 

I took off running after all three boys. My greatest concern was for their safety. The second concern: Marley.

 

Suddenly, alongside me appeared this lady in a dripping wet swimsuit. The boys’ mother.

 

In a flash, she had all three sons corralled, and following her back to the gazebo in the pool area.

 

Lucky for me, the iguana’s claw marks in the paint were easy to lightly smooth out with a No. 2 steel wool pad.

 

The first thing next morning, I re-coated that section of the concrete corridor. Guarding the area for fifteen minutes longer than necessary. Until the special coating had dried completely.

 

Moral of the story: Watch out for four-legged creatures and two-legged boys when painting open, and public, spaces.

 

Footnote: The last time I saw Marley was the afternoon of April 19, 2013. He stood on the hotel’s side of the fence. He peered toward the nearby, swampy pond. And, “Charlie,” a resident Alligator, floating along like an old log. Only the top of his snout and beady eyes above water.

 

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Lucky is the painter that can work in the midst of nature.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Here’s hoping that you have a great month, everyone. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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