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Archive for May, 2012

Bag It
St. John Film Society Presents:
Directed by Susan Beraza – 78 minutes, documentary
7:30 pm / St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay

Bag It follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he tries to make sense of our dependence on plastic bags. When Jeb discovers that he and his partner are expecting a child, his plastic odyssey becomes a truly personal one. How can they protect their baby from the health dangers associated with plastics? Jeb looks beyond single-use disposable plastics and discovers that virtually everything in modern society – from baby bottles, to sports equipment, to dental sealants, to personal care products – is either made with plastic or contains potentially harmful chemical additives used in the plastic-making process.

The average American uses about 500 plastic bags each year, for about twelve minutes each. This single-use mentality has led to the formation of a floating island of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean more than twice the size of Texas.  The film explores these issues and identifies how our daily reliance on plastic threatens not only waterways and marine life, but human health, too.

Featuring interviews with scientists and experts from around the world, Bag It is a first-person documentary in the style of Michael Moore, asking how we can incorporate healthy, more environmentally friendly practices into our lives, our cultures, and our communities.

Find out more about Bag It

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Hibiscus

I saw this beautiful hibiscus growing right alongside the road on Route 20 just west of Cinnamon Bay. It was so red and so perfect, I had to stop, get out and get a photo. The red hibiscus is native to St. John and just about every other tropical location. Not only does it produce an attractive flower, but the flower is edible and the tea made from the flower has been shown to reduce blood pressure.

St. John Live Music Schedule Thursday May 17

Banana Deck – Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels – 6:00 – 9:00 – 693-5055
Castaways – Dance Party – 11:00 – 777-3316
Driftwood Dave’s – Just Mike – 7:00 – 10:00 – 777-4015
Island Blues – Ike – 7:00 – 10:00 – 776-6800
Miss Lucy’s – Jazz with Rich and Greg – 6:00 – 9:00 – 693-5354
Morgan’s Mango – Mark Wallace – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Ocean Grill – Chris Carsel – 6:30 – 9:00 – 693-3304
Shipwreck Landing – Slammin – 7:00 – 10:00
Skinny Legs – Lauren – 6:00 – 9:00 – 779-4982

Weekly Schedule

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Early Morning Rain Squall

The day began with a cloudy sunrise, which soon developed into a heavy rain squall. As of this afternoon heavy thunder squalls have resulted in the National Weather Service in San Juan issuing  an urban and small stream flood advisory for St. John and St. Thomas until 5:15 pm AST. Not so great for beach going, but perfect for filling cisterns, watering plants and watching movies.

 

More rain is forecast for tomorrow…

St. John Live Music Schedule Wednesday May 16

Aqua Bistro – Rascio on Steel Pan – 5:30 – 8:30 – 776-5336
Castaways – Kenny Floyd – 8:00 – 777-3316
Cruz Bay Prime – Samba Combo – 7:00 – 10:00 – 693 -8000
Driftwood Dave’s – Paradise People – 7:00 – 10:00 – 777-4015
High Tide – Chris Carsel – 6:00 – 9:00 – 714-6169
Spyglass – Chris Carsel  – 5:00 – 8:00 – 776-1100
Sun Dog Cafe – Wednesday Night Jam – 7:30-10:00 – 244-9713

Weekly Schedule

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Smooth Trunkfish Lactophrys triqueter

Smooth Trunkfish (Lactophrys triqueter)

The trunkfish is also known locally as  boxfish, shellfish and cowfish. They have a hard outer shell formed by thick scales fused together. Their hard shell and the fact that their skin secretes a poison makes them unappetizing to most predators. Trunkfish forage the sandy periphery of reefs and find foot by shooting a jet of water from their mouths to expose small mollusks, and other invertebrates in the sand.

St. John Live Music Schedule Tuesday May 15

Castaways – Karaoke Night – 9:00 – 777-3316
Driftwood Dave’s – Michael Beason – 8:00 – 777-4015
High Tide – Erin Hart – 6:00 – 9:00 – 714-6169
Island Blues – Karaoke & Open Mic – 8:00 – 11:00 – 776-6800
Morgan’s Mango – Greg Kinslow – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Ocean Grill – Rascio on Steel Pan – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-3304
Shipwreck Landing  – Chris Carsel – 6:30 – 9:30
Spyglass – T-Bird – 5:00 – 8:00 – 776-1100

Weekly Schedule

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Poui Flowers

Yesterday’s poui photo apparently didn’t due the tree justice, so here’s another try…

St. John Live Music Schedule Sunday May 13

Aqua Bistro – Lauren – 3:30 – 6:30 – 776-5336
Concordia – Bo – Sunday Brunch 10:00 am
Driftwood Dave’s – Live Music – 1:00 – 4:00 – 777-4015
High Tide – Inner Vision – 6:30 – 714-6169
Miss Lucy’s – Samba Combo – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – 693-5354
Ocean Grill – David Laab – 6:30 – 9:00 – 693-3304
Rhumblines – T-Bird – 7:00 – 10:00
Shipwreck Landing – Hot Club of Coral Bay – 7:00 – 10:00
Sun Dog Cafe – David Laab – 11:00 am- 2:00 pm – 244-9713

Weekly Schedule

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Fallen flowers of the Poui tree at St. John's Caneel Bay Resort

The wood of the Poui tree (Tabebuia chrysantha) is strong and durable and is resistant to dampness, decay, fire and termites. Consequently it has been used for docks, piers, outdoor furniture, park benches and boardwalks including the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

St. John Weather

Same thing but a different nuance:

From NOAA (glass half full)
Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 87.

From Weather Underground (glass half empty)
Overcast with rain showers in the morning, then partly cloudy with rain showers.

St. John Live Music Schedule Saturday May 12

Castaways – Dance Party – 11:00 – 777-3316
Driftwood Dave’s – Guitarist James Milne – 7:00 – 10:00 – 777-4015
Morgan’s Mango – Luba – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Ocean Grill – Rascio on Steel Pan – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-3304
Rhumblines – Lauren – 7:00 – 10:00
Shipwreck Landing – Mike Miknut – 6:00 – 9:30
Skinny Legs – Chis & Mo – 6:30 – 9:30 – 779-4982
Spyglass – James Cobb – 5:00 – 8:00 – 776-1100

Weekly Schedule

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Friends of the National Park Beach to Beach Power Swim

Beach to Beach Power Swim 2008

The Caneel Bay Resort is offering a Dive into Relaxation Package for swimmers and spectators attending the ninth annual St. John Beach-to-Beach Power Swim. The event, sponsored by the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, will take place on Sunday, May 27,2012. There will be three options for swimmers: Maho Bay to Cinnamon Bay, one mile, Maho Bay to Trunk Bay, two and a quarter miles and Maho Bay to Hawksnest Bay, three and a half miles.

The Caneel Bay Resort Dive into Relaxation Package will include: 30% off room rates, breakfast for two per day, a complimentary Sunset Cocktail Cruise for two and a special welcome gift.

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Maho Bay St. John USVI

Maho Bay

“The Beach at Maho Bay is Now Protected in Perpetuity”

The National Park Service (NPS) and the Trust for Public Land today announced the addition of 58 acres of biologically diverse lands in the Maho Bay area of Virgin Islands National Park….read article

FLOOD WATCH
National Weather Service San Juan PR
4:29 AM AST Thursday May 3, 2012

… Flash Flood Watch in effect through Friday evening… The National Weather Service in San Juan has issued a Flash Flood Watch for all of Puerto Rico… including Culebra and
Vieques… and for all of the U.S. Virgin Islands… rainfall amounts of two to four inches are possible…

Health Cutting Back Services at DeCastro Clinic
St. John Source
By Bill Kossler — May 2, 2012

St. John’s Morris DeCastro Clinic is cutting back hours and services to save money, which has Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center and the St. Thomas East End Medical Center concerned about absorbing the costs of the services…. read more

St. John Live Music Schedule Thursday May 3

Banana Deck – Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels – 6:00 – 9:00 – 693-5055
Castaways – Dance Party – 11:00 – 777-3316
Driftwood Dave’s – Just Mike – 7:00 – 10:00 – 777-4015
High Tide – Inner Vision – 8:00-11:00 – 714-6169
Island Blues – Ike – 7:00 – 10:00 – 776-6800
Miss Lucy’s – Jazz with Rich and Greg – 6:00 – 9:00 – 693-5354
Morgan’s Mango – Mark Wallace – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Ocean Grill – Chris Carsel – 6:30 – 9:00 – 693-3304
Shipwreck Landing – Slammin – 7:00 – 10:00
Skinny Legs – Lauren – 6:00 – 9:00 -779-4982

Weekly Schedule

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Worms
     

Question: Which of these photos contain an image of a worm?

If you guessed the one in the center, you are only partly right. Actually they all are images of worms, specifically of the class of worms known as polychaetes commonly referred to as bristle worms. The one in the center is the only one that actually looks like a worm to me, but the other two are worms also and in the same class as the center one.

The photo on the left shows Christmas tree worms, “Spirobranchus giganteus” and the photo on the right is of a feather duster worm, “Sabellastarte spectabilis”

All these worms are commonly found in St. John waters. The Christmas tree and feather duster worms are usually found on coral reefs and on rocks. They will shoot back into a shell-like tube if approached too closely. The worm in the center is a fire worm and is found in shallow coral rubble waters often under rocks. You don’t want to touch one because the bristles break off and give a painful sting. (I once saw a dog that stepped on one, and it howled and cried for quite a while and wouldn’t walk on that paw for a few days)

BuzzFeed.com has some cool macro images of bristle worms. Check them out

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St. John Flora: False Pineapple

Pinguin

Happy May Day!

Among other signs of springtime  on St. John are the spectacular flowers produced by the pinguin plant. Officially called Bromelia pinguin, they are also known as false pineapples as they really do resemble the pineapple plant.

The pinguins is native to central America, but through both the forces of nature and human cultivation have spread to the Caribbean, Florida and Hawaii.

The long, narrow and and stiff leaves are somewhat cactus-like having numerous barbed spines that stick out in two directions, making it very unfriendly to passersby. This characteristic to a large degree been responsible for the pinguin’s cultivation as they make an effective natural fence. In plantation days they were often planted on either or both sides of stone walls to prevent both escapes by enslaved workers and attacks or intrusions from without.

The pinguin flower morphs into a cluster of edible yellow fruits, which are tart and acidic, tasting somewhat like a strong lime. They can be eaten raw or cooked or made into a drink.

When it rains the penguin’s leaves direct the rainwater and accumulated organic matter down to the center of the plant where they are stored and eventually absorbed along with mosquitoes unfortunate enough to be attracted to the moisture only to find an acidic bath that kills and dissolves them adding nutrition for the plant.

St. John Live Music Schedule Tuesday May 1

Castaways – Karaoke Night – 9:00 – 777-3316
Driftwood Dave’s – Michael Beason – 8:00 – 777-4015
High Tide – Erin Hart – 6:00 – 9:00 – 714-6169
Island Blues – Karaoke & Open Mic – 8:00 – 11:00 – 776-6800
Morgan’s Mango – Greg Kinslow – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Ocean Grill – Rascio on Steel Pan – 6:00 – 9:30 – 693-3304
Shipwreck Landing – Chris Carsel – 6:30 – 9:30
Spyglass – T-Bird – 5:00 – 8:00 – 776-1100

Weekly Schedule

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Brought to you by Gerald Singer, St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)