Sunday, April 5, 2009

Flora and Fauna

Saba has a sub-tropical rain forest as well as a leeward and windward side, and so had a wonderful diversity of plants. The animals were really interesting too, but there weren't as many native animals.
Whoops! Wrong animal.

I believe this is called an Elephant Ear. My poor Uncle Paul is most likely going to cringe all through this post, as I'm sure I'm going to botch most of the names.

Anyway, these buggers are absolutely huge! The leaves you see in the picture are about 4 feet long! Aunt Sue told me they are sometimes called "Poor Man's Umbrella", and you can see why. Parts of the mountain are covered in a carpet of these things.

Handyman took this picture while he was hiking up Mt. Scenery.

This is called an Anole. There is an anole that is unique to Saba, but I'm not sure if this is it.
The ubiquitous hibiscus. (Isn't that a great word? Ubiquitous!)
Poor Aunt Sue. I was determined to see roses everywhere, but she had to keep correcting me and dashing all my hopes of being able to identify at least one type of plant.
Saba also has a healthy population of hermit crabs, along with one not-so-healthy hermit crab that got accidentally stepped on.
He was very grouchy about the whole thing, but seriously, wouldn't you be too?

This shell I found way up on the cliffs, which we think was discarded by a hermit crab. Can you imagine how big that thing must be?
I was really hoping to find a hermit crab to take home to Peter and Miss Boo, but sadly the crabs sent out an A.P.B. about my nefarious kidnapping scheme and hid until we left.

Angel Trumpets. I had one last year, but I left it out one night in the fall, and it froze. Tropical plants don't like ice, which explains a lot about my own temperament in the winter.I was told that the pistil in the plant is a strong narcotic. I have three little toddlers though, so I don't need anything to make me more neurotic than I already am.


There are (or I should say were) lots of Mahogany trees on the island, but the last hurricane really devastated the population.
Roosters and wild chickens have the run of the island. Want some chicken? Set a live trap.
Every morning, at the brisk hour of 4:00 A.M., an entire battalion of roosters decided to bugle right below my window. I think I would have shot them if my eyes weren't so bleary.

This is Louis Armstrong.
Aunt Sue just loves this dog, and I have to admit, he did have the most winning personality. I could just imagine him speaking with a low, g-ruff voice (sorry about the pun; couldn't resist making you groan), "Hey there baby. How about a poochie smooch?

This is my jackpot of plants that I managed to glean while I was there. Uncle Paul says that Aunt Sue must really like me, because she let me take some of her orchids.
(I suspect my glazed eyes and twitching fingers helped her deduce how much I wanted some plants.)

I've since gotten them all potted up nicely, and so far at least, they seem to be resigned to their fate of exile in the Frigid North.

Iguanas are native to the island, and we were fortunate enough to get some great photos of them. This particular gent was on full display for us. It's quite a sight to see them climbing in the trees like a weird genetically-gone-wrong squirrel.

This is an orchid that we found at Ms. Wilda's house. I was able to restrain myself, and did NOT steal it.
Finally, the most dangerous wildlife on the island:Those cheeks are just killers.


Penny said...

The lizards are huge! The flowers are gorgeous. The picture that made me smile, though, was Handyman snuggling his blankie.

Kit-bert: evil HR Director said...

you are hilarious and as always, I love reading your posts. Looks like you encountered a ton of beautiful plants/flowers (and were able to bring some home with you!) you are definitely a "Fleuren" at heart LOL :) I especially love the last picture of the "killer cheeks" from Gabey :) he's getting SO big! miss you guys! xoxo

Sereknitty said...

Gorgeous photos! Especially loved the rooster :) so colourful!

Andi said...

I would have loved to see all that! It's so pretty there. We got a few laughs out of this post. ;-)