Girlfriends Getaway: Focus on the Fauna and Flora of USVI

DSC_3569_zps9c3a1217With camera in hand, when I’m traveling you’ll often spot me taking pictures of those things you might not necessarily find photo worthy.  But big or small, historical in significance or not, if I’m there, I’m taking photos.  As I’ve done on other trips (Bermuda, USVI in 2011, Ireland, and St. Thomas March 2014), I couldn’t help but document in pictures the various animals, flowers, and plants of St. Thomas and St. John. 

St. Thomas: Nothing says wake up call quite like roosters at 4 am!  Whether their timing was off or if they perhaps thought it was funny to wake up the humans before the crack of dawn, I don’t know. Funny how they had their own “snooze” feature as they continued to crow about every half hour. Ironically enough, the cat nearby was either used to it, indifferent, or deaf.  Although not in full bloom, the beautiful red flowers adorning the Royal Poinciana tree are fiery nonetheless.  Back to animals and we see a lizard in the bush over Magen’s Bay, more chickens in the parking lot of Havensight Mall, and yes, even a doberman ice sculpture at Magic Ice.  

St. John Flora: While waiting in a parking lot near Leinster Bay Trail, I saw these delicate pink flowers on a tree and had to take a few shots.  Their papery thin petals individually wouldn’t be impressive, but ass a whole they are striking.  The dense woods that line the roadway in and around the island and especially within Virgin Islands National Park are remarkable.  Dry and almost dead like near the ground, but then you spot an abundance of green reaching up toward the sun.  I never expected to find cactus, but it does make sense to see it considering the climate.  Outside of Asolare I saw more pink flowers and a coconut tree.  A little cliché, yes, but you can’t deny me a picture of a coconut tree.  The last picture above is the view from my room and I felt incredibly blessed to see such vivid colors each morning, from the blues to the reds to the greens. 

St. John Fauna: The animals were out in full force all over St. John from cats to chickens to horses and yes, even termites!  Look at these goats running around near Emmaus Moravian Church.  I love the black and white one the best!  If you’ve never seen a termite nest up close and personal, yeah — they’re huge!  While walking around Cruz Bay I found my fair share of chickens and roosters hanging out (maybe shopping?).  Who could forget the cat who was desperately trying to get into my room at Estate Lindholm? Persistent little bugger!  The little black bird who tried to join me for breakfast one morning didn’t know that most birds make me skittish.  He was too cute, one might even say polite, and kept enough of a distance to make us both happy.  If you’re on St. John, it’s inevitable that you’ll see wild donkeys, descendants of domestic donkeys that escaped or were released into the wild.  I wasn’t worried because my amazing horse from Carolina Corral, Houdini, was there to protect me!

I had to devote a whole section here to the extraordinary flowers and plants at Estate Lindholm. Whether fresh picked flowers adorning the stone and brick walkways, carefully placed potted plants, or even trees, all of which was rich and bright in color and an absolute feast for the eyes. 

Next time you’re on vacation, look for the little treasures that will help remind you of your trip through flowers, animals, and other memorable moments.