I don't normally take the photographs that accompany my blog entries. Marc pulls the images out from sources unknown. But I did take today's photograph.
This is the first skink of spring. Well, actually it is the second skink of spring. The first skink of spring was a male that ran away before I could take its picture. The skink pictured is a female Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus) on the foundation of a building, with most of the tail hidden in shadows. It is possible to identify the skink as female because of the longitudinal stripes, which are absent in the adult male.
This is also one of the first pictures that I've taken with my new camera. The old camera went out of service when it was dropped in the mud during a vain attempt to find Six-lined Racerunners along a railroad track. (That's another striped lizard, by the way.) I got a new camera that wasn't just a replacement for but an upgrade from the old model. The new camera has an 18x optical zoom, as opposed to the 10x optical zoom of the old camera. The new camera also allows the user to set the "optimum aperture value".
I don't even know what those words mean.