Grandma Amy Loved Lizards

lizard atlanta botanic garden

Today Ron and I visited the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

It’s September, but the garden is still vibrant with color and life. Butterflies on a quest for nectar dart between sunset-orange lantana blooms. Bees collect pollen from pink anemone flowers. Don’t the anemones look a lot like dogwood?

The garden makes me think about my Grandma Amy. Grandma Amy loved bugs and birds and flowers of all kinds. When I was little, she used to take me on nature walks in the woods. We examined birch twigs that smelled like root beer, searched for Jack in the Pulpits, and watched a squirrels scamper up trees with acorns in their mouth.

Grandma died over a decade ago. But I can still hear her usually gruff voice sweetening an octave to chirp out the call of a chickadee, her tongue visible through the gap between her two front teeth.

“Chicka-dee-dee-dee. Chick-a-dee-dee-dee.”

Grandma was also one of very few people who really recognized the outstanding and superior beauty of Fred, the blue-bellied lizard I kept in my bedroom when I was ten. “Oh, he’s glorious,” she said, admiring Fred’s iridescent stomach.

I thought about Grandma as I spied a green lizard. He would have fit nicely in the palm of my hand if I could have caught him. But the lizard would have scampered up a red variegated leaf, paused briefly to give me the eye, then ran off to do whatever it is that lizards do.

Grandma would have really liked it here.

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