Wildlife

Praise for the Impressive Parrotfish

parrotfish

Scientists believe that the healthiest coral reefs in the world are the ones with active and happy parrotfish. Protecting parrotfish, and their equally important sea urchin neighbors, can help restore dying coral reefs and keep healthy ones growing. There are nearly a hundred species of parrotfish in the world, each growing anywhere from 1 to … Read more

Pelican Eloquence

pelicans

Getting to know the big birds in the sky Populations of the popular brown pelican ebb and flow on St. John like the tides. This particular year has not been particularly plentiful, so when one whooshes by, I take notice. Pelicans may be bulbous in silhouette, but in flight they are graceful and majestic, with … Read more

Where Do Turtles Sleep?

Snorkeling my favorite bay and hanging with a couple beautiful green sea turtles, I found myself wondering how they sleep. Where do they go? Do they float near the top for air, or take a big deep breath for about of sea slumber? In my lifetime, I have witnessed a fish sleeping and I’ll never … Read more

Donkey Don

Donkeys on St. John Island

Donkey Don – Being neighborly to the island’s beloved asses. Originally brought to St. John as work animals, donkeys today freely roam the island, choosing to stop on their own for a photo op, or a crunchy apple or carrot. Feeding the donkeys is “discouraged,” although they help themselves to trash bags overflowing at the … Read more

Sign of the Seagull

Sign of the Seagull On St. John the seagulls visit from late spring to early fall. Over the years they’ve been quite punctual, much like the whales. This year my first seagull sighting came on April 18th and several others spotted since. They don’t all arrive at once, clearly seagull scouts are sent ahead to … Read more

Cactus Snack

cactus fruit

Cactus Snack While everyone knows you should bring plenty of water on a hike, during the hot months on St. John, you can’t carry enough. One secret salvation awaiting hikers of the arid trails are the tiny pink fruits of the Turks cactus. Both bulbous and phallic, Turks cacti are prolific across St. John’s dryer … Read more

Mango Madness

Mangos

Mango Madness Mango trees are popping around St. John and anyone with a fruitful tree is now enjoying, cooking, selling and gifting mangoes. With hundreds of varieties, each tree produces a unique fruit, with a wide range of sweetness, tartness, and fiber. Many people who live here already know which trees are their favorite, and … Read more

Sargassum Sittings

sargassum

Sargassum Sittings Visitors to St. John stopped me yesterday and inquired about “the brown stuff” floating in the water. It’s not something visitors from a few years ago would have seen, but folks today will see it all the time. The “brown stuff” comes from the Sargasso Sea and although it looks like dead seaweed, … Read more