Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Blog

I hate to bump the mantas from the top of the blog food chain, but there's so much natural beauty here I thought I'd do a mostly photo blog of some new land and sea sightings. We went to a local cultural festival at the Annaberg Sugar Plantation and felt very underdressed. These ladies put us all to shame!

Beautifully dressed local ladies.... and a shabbily dressed tourist!
We've seen female golden orbs all over St. John and this was a pretty big one. (See June 2011: 'Underwater World Briefly') It was suggested by someone who heard us commenting on her size that perhaps she was full, having just eaten her mate. Mmmm... pass the salt please!

Another lovely local lady.... Female Golden Orb
Annaberg Plantation includes a garden that's being tended by a local guy named Charles who's absolutely devoted to plants. He learned bush medicine from his grandmother and passes along the knowledge to anyone who cares to ask. He gave us papayas, sugarcane, bananas, coconuts and more. Here are just a few of the other things he grows.... 

Pigeon Peas
Flowering Pigeon Pea

Skip models painkiller leaves for backache. You can barely see the soursop leaves tucked under his hat to keep his head cool!
Soursop - has bright white flesh with dark seeds. It's sweet and sour and delicious.

Skip with the bush doctor, Charles 
Flowering Aloe  
Aloe and cactus

How a coconut palm starts
As always I'm working on my wildlife photography skills and have discovered, not surprisingly, that the slower something moves the easier it is to photograph. Here are a few slow fish we've been swimming with lately.

Queen Angelfish
Scrawled Filefish
Stoplight Parrotfish
We've seen some really interesting fast fish too, but you'll just have to take my word for it. Happy Leap Day!


Miles said...

Ha! Numero Uno. Woop woop. Okay, sorry. Charles is the man. Lex and I have had some great conversations with him also over the past couple years when we visited Annaberg. Glad he is still around. I have to head out now to buy a new steamer trunk for our delivery, sorry I mean 'trip' to St. John...

Cindy Barnard said...

Numero two, here I am. Maddie these photos are wonderful. Gorgeous. Captivating. What a fascinating place that must be! Thanks for "taking us all" along on your venture. L, Cin

Dan Barnard said...

Beautiful pictures, Mad, as usual. What equipment are you using to get the underwater fish shots?

Sylvia said...

Love seeing all the interesting photos! Keep 'em comin'!