Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Caribbean Blue


The good ship Summit. Our cruise ship seen from above the town of Rosseau, Dominica

As I type this, I’m sitting out on the stern deck of a cruise ship accompanied by a rum punch, watching the island of Grenada recede behind us. We departed about a half hour ago. Don’t hate me.

Our adventure began on Saturday. We got up before dawn for the airport run, and both departed Chicago and arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on time. We went directly to the cruise ship, so I haven’t had any time in Puereto Rico yet, though we will get a day of that at the end of the trip.


Orient Beach, St. Martin

We awoke Sunday morning in St. Martin. Plans to do a somewhat cheesy package tour caled "Spend the day aboard a pirate ship’ went awry. Instead, we took a taxi to the beach. I’ve been to St. Martin once before- it’s beautiful, sunny, and everything you’d associate with the Caribbean. I took a walk along the beach and saw some really pretty forktail damselflies- but only got a so-so picture.


Damselfly (Ishnura sp.) on Orient Beach

Lunch was interesting because I got to try a kind of food I’ve never had before. Someone (of Spo and Someone) got curried goat and let me have a bite. I did not regret my decision to get the jerk chicken wings and conch fritters.

After lunch, Spo and Someone went shopping. Leon went back to the shiop to read. I did what I do best. There was a hillside covered with cactus scrub and thorn bushes near the cruise ship terminal. I went exploring for arthropods. There were giant orb-weaving spiders there. They were quite pretty, the largest being about two inches across (the leg-span, not the body). I, of course, thought immediately of Urspo.


Obligatory giant spider shot for Urspo

This insect adventure had me seeing lots of sulphur and blue butterflies, and a really cute (but completely camera shy) hairstreak butterfly. It’s also the source of the greates frustration of the trup to date. Remember my shopping list? The blue-singed grasshopper can be found on St Martin. Yep, I saw it. I didn’t even just see it- I caught one. Had it in my net and everything. It escaped as I was attemting to transfer it into the jar. I haen’t been quite right since then.

The sun is sinking lower in the sky. My glass is just about empty. The Caribbean Sea bleow me is indigo blue, peppered with frothy whitecaps. Life is so good, that I think I’ll wait until later to post about our stop at Dominica.

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6 Comments:

At 06:55, Blogger BentonQuest said...

You say not to hate you but I've never been one who listened well...I HATE YOU! Cold and snow here in Michigan!! I am getting a vicarious sun tan throug you guys.

Have a great rest of your trip!

 
At 13:21, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

C'mon...who could be jealous when the Indiana Dunes are so near by?

 
At 20:17, OpenID merrimerri said...

Arg, I AM so jealous!! LOL!
However it looks like a fabulous ship and the weather looks like it is all QUITE delightful..
*(even the spider..:shudders:..)
You deserve every minute...
enjoy!

 
At 00:18, Blogger butterfly girl said...

I was wondering when I last saw you post something and I went exploring and you were gone! From my bookmarks, the reader, the whole nine yards!! How it happened I have no idea but I am glad you are having fun! And that spider with the striped legs creeps me out a bit!!

Poor Spo!

*L*

The loss has been repaired, so I won't miss anymore of your wonderful adventures!!

 
At 19:53, Blogger Ur-spo said...

there are way too many creepy crawly things here and not enough big mos.
Please work on this.

 
At 15:50, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Benton- Thanks, I did have a great rest of my trip.

Dave- Although the Indiana Dunes have their charm, it's really hard to take good, properly focused bug photos there in February.

Merri- Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the spider

Butterfly Girl- I try to vanish from time to time, it heightens my aura of mystery.

Spo- A lot of big mos are creepy crawly things. You'll probably have the same complaint about my current posting on Dominica.

 

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