Donkeys, Iguanas, and Crabs – Oh My!

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There is some interesting wildlife in the islands to be sure! Maybe from watching lots of movies I always expected there to be lots of huge and horrifying spiders, centipedes, and other monstrous bugs, but I haven’t really seen so much of that. A few large spiders – yes, and I saw at least one scorpion that fortunately for you I do not have a picture of. Lots of iguanas and all manner of geckos, anoles, and other smaller lizards. They are common fixtures around the houses and yards. It is nothing extraordinary to see a lizard up on the wall or darting across the deck as you approach.  Click any picture for a larger view. read more

The Lizards of Oz

The wife and I were watching an episode of Penny Dreadful on HBO the other night and there was a scene with one of our favorite characters, Mr. Lyle. My wife referred to his appearance as “The Wizard of Oz,” and I initially heard it wrong as “The Lizard of Oz.” Which reminded me of a wonderful lizard experience we had a few years back on St. John, USVI. In truth I haven’t had many lizard experiences at all, which I think is pretty much OK, but this one was something to remember!

St John 2009 B 128

We were sharing a rental villa with our regular vacation partners, my brother and his wife. It was a compact but very comfortable masonry house that was beautifully embellished with local stone in a style common to many homes on the island. Perhaps the greatest feature of the house was a long covered stone and tile porch that ran along one side and allowed lots of room for outdoor dining, relaxing with the morning coffee, or just admiring the view. Sort of a long sheltered gallery with several archways from which you could look out onto the small yard or the scenery beyond. There was in fact quite a view because the house sat near the edge of a craggy bluff with crashing surf below in a small bay formed by the spit of land that accommodated our neighborhood and a substantial peninsula across the water to the east. read more