Sunday, January 31, 2010


the local pond froze quickly last week, yielding a smooth, clear surface.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


i think this will be my last post about st. john, as i'm out of photos that i like. this shot is of the omnipresent red bugs on st. john, which i think are a type of pyrrhocoridae hemipterans. red bugs were all around the forest edges on the beaches. i love the dramatic pattern they all share.
we hiked up to the annaberg sugar plantation ruins. i read a history of the slave rebellion of 1733 on st. john, which failed, and the slaves were so hellishly executed that i will not repeat their punishments here. i felt so creeped-out by this place, knowing how the slaves were treated, that i took little notice of what the old buildings were, and just shot them.

there is also a grand pirate history on st. john and st. thomas, but i didn't see much to photograph. thanks for joining me on this adventure!

Thursday, January 07, 2010


st. john has quite a few donkeys, goats, chickens and pigs on the loose. the donkeys are extremely friendly... here's one making her move...i'm coming closer...
snorgle, snorgle!
yup, she stuck her head right inside the jeep! here's a baby donkey sleeping in the road... one has to drive quite slowly on st. john due to the steep roads and animals...
there seem to be goats everywhere. i saw this herd going down the road to the soccer field every morning to keep the grass perfect.
and we did see one feral pig... we didn't stop to pet her though!

Monday, January 04, 2010


we stayed at a small house on st. john, "ridgetop," which had a lovely little garden. it didn't take me long to discover huge tetrio sphinx caterpillars, fat as my thumb, on the plumeria bushes.
here is the front gate, necessitated by the island's many roaming donkeys and goats. more on the animals in a later post...
the garden path, cleverly built to withstand the traffic of anoles, hermit crabs and people! all of the flower photos below are from this little garden.
i think this is euphorbia milii... wow, i struggle to grow tropical plants indoors, here they thrive with little care...
plumeria... there were two bushes, one had flowers, the other had caterpillars!
i don't know what this little delicate flower is.
striped anole on the path...
spotted anole... this one sunning upside-down on the deck...
i think this is perhaps a columnea...?
i don't know what this is either, but it reminds me of the novel the crimson petal and the white.
and another sphinx moth caterpillar... they really decimated the plumeria, but i think it will survive.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


another somewhat remote excellent snorkel site on st john is little lameshur bay and yawzi point, on big lameshur bay. most of the road into the national park is paved, but a short portion requires 4 wheel drive and a high clearance, below.i was just about to hang my hat on a branch on little lameshure, when i noticed this millipede had dibs on the perch. he was about 5 inches long, and fatter than a pencil.
i didn't take many photos of the beach at lameshur, as it wasn't much. but there is a rocky beginner spot just off shore that had more fish diversity than almost any other spot.

the trail up yawzi point is .8 miles, but it can be thorny in spots. i saw cacti blooming...
and a nicely colored hermit crab...
also on the trail, we saw this cactus overlooking little lameshure bay.
here is the tiny cove on yawzi from which we snorkeled. so private! the entrance to the water was easier than it looked, with fish immediately present. the coral diversity was great, and there were many fish.


our favorite place to snorkel on st. john was waterlemon bay. swimming across the channel to waterlemon cay, below, we saw large cushion starfish, sea turtles, remoras, spotted eagle rays, and small rays. once at waterlemon cay, we rested on the sandy spit, and then proceeded swimming around the cay. there we spotted the largest diversity of marine life on the tortola side, where the currents were the most difficult.the .8 mile hike to waterlemon was difficult, because the rocky path was at times submerged during high tide. the launch point was also rocky. we found the more remote the site on st. john, the more there was to see. here's a heron at waterlemon cay.
after swimming to the cay, we rested on the larger beach, where this pelican was fishing only a few feet away from us (however, these were taken w telephoto lens.) here he comes!
right off the beach, the water teems with fish. what a rich paradise! the pelican only had to open his beak to eat.

having frightened away the fish, the pelican flies off to find another spot.


we spent last week snorkeling in st. john, usvi. unfortunately, i don't have an underwater camera, so the most amazing things we saw will remain up to your imagination. however, i'll be posting above water photos until i run out! here is the view from the ferry from st. thomas. there isn't an airport on st. john...we rented a jeep wrangler, here is the view from chateau bordeaux, an inn on our way to coral bay...
here's our jeep mightily powering up the switchbacks to the house we rented...
we enjoyed this lovely view of coral bay from our rented house...
we faced east and i saw the sunrise each day... these were the best...

early in the week we went to trunk bay, which has the only marked underwater snorkeling trail i've ever seen. snorkeling for dummies?
a big orange boat, and a little tiny surfer, at left...
sadly, we did come home yesterday. here is the view leaving st. john. and it's quite cold here in zone 6b right now!