I was riding home from the grocery the other day, doing my usual 60 in a 55-mile zone. Suddenly, from out of the hood crawled a green anole.
He hung out behind the wipers, tail flapping in the breeze.
We reached a speed limit change so I cranked it up to 65 for the 60-mile speed limit. Arnold (as I named him) didn't seem distressed and I thought of pulling over to let him off, but I know that some of the anoles hang out in my car engine. I figured it might be crueler to drop him off in parts unknown, rather than return him home to his friends. I have a healthy population of green anoles, the only anole native to Florida.
Arnold seemed to get bolder as we rode along. He moved up slightly and firmly planted his feet on a low part of the windshield, but up above the wipers. Now he was surfing. Head turned, smile on his face, he seemed to be enjoying the breeze. I kept an eye on him, for if at any time he looked like he was losing a grip in any way, I would have rescued him, but he held tight.
He got a slight reprieve as we approached the only traffic signal on the 13-mile journey home. He seemed to let up the grip for a moment and I thought he might jump off, but once again he hunkered down as we smoothly transitioned from the stop to 70mph. He actually appeared gleeful with the freedom of the wind in his scales. I gave him the countdown....8 more miles, 7 more miles.....two more blocks...we're nearly there Arnold HANG ONNNNNN!!!!
You may think this borders on reptile cruelty, but if I tried to remove him, my fear was that he would run for cover under the hood and maybe get fried on a hot engine part.
Even with a full stop at the mailbox he didn't look to jump off the car. We drove the next two blocks home and when I pulled into the carport and shut down the engine, he looked around as if to say, "oh, finally we are home".
It wasn't long until he wondered over the top of the car and leaped onto the post that holds up the carport. "Home to my favorite spot, at last!"
I think perhaps I need to do a public service video of the car grill covered in bug wings to show the potential dangers. Something along the lines of "Car surfing can have deadly results".
Photo depicts another of the native anoles that rode home on the sideview mirror from the mailbox recently; they are an adventurous bunch. Arnold was nowhere to be found when I returned with the camera...probably went to take a nap.