Title: Illuminating Stick
Lizard, by Betty, Joe & Martha Harris (2004)
Location: Tucson Museum of Art
Entrance, 140 N. Main Ave.
Details: According to the sign:
eccentrics of the Sonoran landscape, stick lizards distance themselves
from the scorching heat of the deserts sand by perching atop an upright
stick for up to ten hours a day. Off-hours, the stick is carried in the
lizard's mouth. Although considered cold-blooded, stick lizards are
believed to be the only reptile to exhibit warm-blooded
characteristics. They store sunlight through the process of
resergilation, absorbing great quantities of energy through
glands in the back of their throat. At night, resergial enzymes
transform this into heat-emitting bioluminescence, warming the lizards
and spectacularly illuminating their head. Stick lizards also feed at
night, dieting mainly on the fruits of the monster cactus.
Lumenessum Belua (Monster Cactus)
Another unusual Sonoran native, lumenessa cacti are distinguished both
visibly and biologically from their Sonoran relatives. Incapable of
traditional photosynthesis, lumenessa are nourished by the nocturnal
light of the feeding stick lizards, with whom they are symbiotically
linked. Stranger still is the unlikely appearance of lumenessa, with
features resembling an animal-like face. Recent science has largely
discarded local lore that the face was bred into the cacti by Aikamel
O'odham farmers attempting to scare rival tribes. Their monstrous
appearance is now wholly attributed to evolution.
I love these. I hadn't planned on adding any more luminaria sculptures
to the Public Art pages, but I had to make an exception for
these guys. Go check 'em out before they're gone. And, have fun!
These are the best luminarias of all! They're comical, whimsical, and
just plain fun. I'd love to have them in my yard - the lizard is great,
with his gold tooth and frazzled look! The little cacti are endearingly
monstrous; the whole piece is terrific!
© 2005 S. Halversen. All rights