Browse our selection of St. John, Virgin Islands & Caribbean Books
Powered by MaxBlogPress  

Archive for the “St. John Flora & Fauna” Category

St. John Animails: White-Tailed Deer

The above photo of white-tailed deer was taken in the coconut grove flats behind the beach at Maho Bay.

The white-tailed deer is the most common deer in North America. It is also found in southern Canada, Central America and has been introduced in parts of Europe, South Island, New Zealand, and the Virgin Islands.

White-tailed deer are excellent swimmers and can swim from island to island,

The Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 provided funding for the stocking of white-tailed deer on St. John and St. Thomas.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Banana Deck
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
693-5055

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Ike
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Beach Bar
The Grandsons
8:00
777-4220

Concordia
Wayne Clendenin and Pamela Love
4 :30 – 6:30
693-5855

High Tide
Island Girl
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Brother Nature
6:30
776-6378

Island Blues
Gann – Solo guitar
7:00 – 10:00
776-6800

Morgan’s Mango
James Anderson
6:30 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

Skinny Legs
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Campbell takes 56th
By AARON GRAY (Special to the Daily News)
Published: February 19, 2014

Alongside a mountain consumed by fog and under a frigid rain, Jasmine Campbell added a new chapter to the Virgin Islands Olympics history books when she competed in the giant slalom alpine skiing event Tuesday at the Winter Olympics.

The 22-year-old St. John native became the first athlete to represent the territory in an Olympic skiing event since her father, John, and Seba Johnson both competed in the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France.

John Campbell was with his daughter after the second of her two runs at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. The milestone they were able to share together exceeded her final standing within the highly competitive, world-class field.

Campbell clocked a time of 1 minute, 32.05 seconds on her first run and followed it up with a 1:33 on her second run. The times were good enough for 56th place out of the 90 giant slalom competitors who took to the Caucasus mountains Tuesday…. read more

Centerline Road to Close Saturday During 8 Tuff Miles Race
By Lynda Lohr — February 20, 2014

Centerline Road from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay will be closed during parts of Saturday morning so runners participating in the 18th annual 8 Tuff Miles race can safely get from one end of the island to the other.

Jeff Miller, a member of the race organizing committee, said the Cruz Bay end of Centerline Road will be closed at 7:10 a.m., just before the 7:15 race start.

He said Centerline Road going west from Coral Bay toward Cruz Bay will be closed shortly after the race starts to assure the road down to Coral Cay is clear through the construction zone. It will reopen by 10:30 a.m. at the latest….read more

Donation Makes Possible New Park Educational Exhibit Signs
By Lynda Lohr — February 20, 2014

The park’s chief of interpretation, Paul Thomas, with donors Paul and Nancy Anderson.

Thanks to a $25,000 donation from St. John snowbirds Paul and Nancy Anderson to the Friends of V.I. National Park, the park will make some inroads on replacing its tattered educational exhibit signs…. read more

St John Virgin Islands Weather

Isolated showers before 8am, then isolated showers after 2pm. Sunny, with a high near 76. East wind 20 to 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

banana flower-9
bananasOnce upon a time, bananas were wild plants that grew only in Asia. Then, like now, bananas were a tasty fruit. The problem with them was that they were difficult to eat, because the wild bananas were full of extremely hard seeds about the size of small peas. The seeds could make up about eighty percent of the banana fruit, leaving only twenty percent as edible flesh. To eat a banana in those days one needed to be either very hungry or have a lot of patience.

Every once in a while, however, a wild banana plant would undergo a genetic mutation causing it to produce a seedless fruit. (The tiny dark particles that you see in the commonly seen bananas of today are actually undeveloped seeds that are so small and so soft that you may not even notice them.)

Without fertile seeds the mutated bananas could not reproduce and spread in the normal fashion. The only way the seedless banana can reproduce is parthenocarpically, which means without seeds. It does this by means of suckers, which grow off the main stem forming new plants that have exactly the same genetic makeup and attributes as the parent.

In all probability, these mutated seedless bananas were eventually found and sampled by human beings foraging for food. Needless to say, the seedless variety was much more desirable than the difficult-to-eat seeded ones and once they were discovered, people decided to bring back some slips for home cultivation. This is a relatively easy process. All that needs to be done is to severe the suckers from the main stem with a sharp object. The small, light and easily carried slips can then be transported and replanted in more convenient locations.

The seedless banana undoubtedly became a popular and sought after crop and gradually was spread… read more

St. John USVI Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Matt Mitruk
5:30 – 8:30
776 5336

Concordia
Open Mic with Johnny B & Lauren
3:30 – 5:30
693-5855

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

Shipwreck Landing
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:30 – 9:30
693-5640

Virgin Fire
Rich Greengold & Greg Jones
5:30 – 8:30
779-4982

See Weekly St. John Music Schedule

St. John Virgin islands Weather

Scattered showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. East wind around 22 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

Eagle Ray-9I was fortunate enough to get some good video of this spotted eagle ray swimming just outside of one of the Hawksnest Bay reefs. In the video you can see the ray sucking up the sand in search of small

mollusks and crustaceans which they crush up and send the excess sand out though their gills.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

St. John Insects: Scorpion Virgin islands Insects: spider

St. John Insects: Scorpion & Spider

St. John Weather

Sahara Dust
For the last few days or so we’ve been experiencing a particularly intense Sahara dust condition. The gray skies over St. John are not clouds, but dust that has traveled over the Atlantic all; the way from Africa and will continue as far as the state of Florida in the continental US.

The Good Part:
“Saharan dust is a limiting factor for tropical development in the Atlantic and sunsets are stunning as a result of dust clouds high in the sky with notable, bright red colors on display.

Origin of the Dust
The Sahara is the greatest single stretch of desert in the world, besides the Arctic and Antarctic, stretching about 3.5 million square miles across northern Africa.

Rainfall is rare across much of the Sahara, and sparing across the rest of the desert.

“Persistent high pressure with resultant sinking and drying of air is what tends to limit rainfall across the region. There is likely a ‘feedback’ mechanism at work by which dry, sparsely vegetated earth superheats, thereby further warming the atmosphere and further strengthening the area of high pressure,” AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews explained.

Persistent northeasterly winds, squeezed between an area of high pressure over the northern Sahara and low pressure over the equator, are often strong enough to stir loose sand and dust in the Sahara. Although the coarser sand is not normally raised far above the land, the smaller dust particles can be lofted 2 or 3 miles high into the sky, Andrews said.

Especially strong winds can blow over thousands of square miles of the desert can scour enormous volumes of dust from the surface. According to a University of Wisconsin-Madison study by Amato Evan, the amount of dust is said to be in the millions of tons….

During a dust storm in the Sahara, which can last for days, the visibility can drop to zero. These long dust storms yield clouds of dust that span one thousand miles or more. Large dust clouds can traverse westward across the Atlantic as they get steered by trade winds.

“Under favorable settings, dust aloft can reach customary tropical cyclone breeding areas, including “Hurricane Alley”, which stretches eastward from the Lesser Antilles,” Andrews said….” From Accuweather.com by Meghan Evans, Meteorologist

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

St. John Sea Creatures: Parrotfish

Parrotfish are one of the most common species found on St. John reefs. They are extremely colorful and have fused teeth that look like a parrot’s beak. They swim using their pectoral fins.

Reef grazing fish, such as parrotfish, produce a significant amount of the sand found on our beaches. Parrotfish exist on a diet of algae, which they scrape off the surface of coral rock with their beak. They then grind this coral and algae mixture to a fine powder. The algae covering the coral are absorbed as food. The coral rock passes through their digestive tracts and is excreted in the form of sand. Snorkelers will frequently observe this process if they watch the parrotfish for a few minutes. Scientists say that for each acre of reef a ton of sand is produced by reef grazing fish every year.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Steven Sloan
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Beach Bar
Savirti
9:00
777-4220

Castaways
Karaoke Night
9:00
777-3316

Driftwood David’s
Benn Marr
5:30 – 8:30
777-4015

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 – 9:00
714-6169

Island Blues
Karaoke & Open Mic
7:00
776-6800

La Tapa
Greg Kinslow
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Miss Lucy’s
David Reed
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Morgan’s Mango
Sambacombo
6:30 – 9:30
693-8141

Spyglass
T-Bird
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

St. John Sea Creatures: Spotted Eagle Ray

Spotted Eagle Ray

eagle ray tail“The spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) is a cartilaginous fish of the eagle ray family, Myliobatidae…

“This ray can be identified by its dark dorsal surface covered in white spots or rings. Near the base of the ray’s relatively long tail, just behind the pelvic fins, are several venomous, barbed stingers. Spotted eagle rays commonly feed on small fish and crustaceans, and will sometimes dig with their snouts to look for food buried in the sand of the seabed. These rays are commonly observed leaping out of the water, and on at least two occasions have been reported as having jumped into boats, in one incident resulting in the death of a woman in the Florida Keys….

“Spotted eagle rays have flat disk-shaped bodies, deep blue or black with white spots on top with a white underbelly, and distinctive flat snouts similar to a duck’s bill. Their tails are longer than those of other rays and may have 2–6 venomous spines, just behind the pelvic fins…. Read more

Virgin Islands News

Police Cracking Down on Excess Tint
By Source staff — June 9, 2013

The V.I Police Department will begin stepping up enforcement of the vehicle tint law and other other rules and regulations of the road, and will hold events where car owners can have their vehicles tested to see if they comply, the department announced.

According to the Virgin Islands Code, no operator or owner of any improperly tinted, unregistered or uninsured vehicle is allowed to operate on the public streets of the Virgin Islands. Police officers will be on the road asking vehicle owners and operators to produce proof of registration, insurance and to remove illegal tint from the vehicles, the department said…. read more

@ School: Junior Lionfish Fighters Keep Sharp Eyes on the Reef
By Lynda Lohr — June 9, 2013

With the scourge of lionfish threatening reefs around the Virgin Islands and beyond, a group of eight Gifft Hill School students in the Junior Caribbean Ocean Restoration and Education program have become extra eyes for the island’s CORE members who spend time in the water killing the invasive species.

“They say when you start to take them out, it makes a difference,” Evan Jones, 14, said of the lionfish.

Skye Ehrhart, 13, said that after the first day of lionfish spotting, he knew there was a purpose to their efforts…. Read more

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

St John Fauna: Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

A wonderful bird is a pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak Food enough for a week;
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.

Often attributed to Ogden Nash but actually from “The Pelican” by Dixon Lanier Merrith.

Brown Pelican

Outside of man, pelicans have few natural enemies. Occasionally a hungry shark happens to be in the vicinity when a pelican makes its dive into the sea, but this happens only rarely.

Man, however, has been a serious threat to the brown pelican…. read more

St John News

Police Advise Centerline to be Closed Saturday During 8 Tuff Miles
By Lynda Lohr — February 21, 2013

Centerline Road will be closed Saturday for the 8 Tuff Miles race until the participants are safely past, Deputy Police Chief Maria Jones said Thursday, firming up information provided this week by the race committee.

Gilly Grimes of St. John’s chapter of the Amateur Radio Emergency System pointed out that it was particularly important for vacation villa managers to alert their guests of this road closure because if guests are planning to depart the villa between 7 and 10:30 a.m., they could find themselves stuck and miss their planes…. read more

St John Weather

Clear with rain showers in the morning, then partly cloudy with rain showers
High of 82 degrees F
Winds from the NE at 10 to 15 mph
Chance of rain 20%
Sunrise: 6:42 AM AST – Sunset: 6:22 PM AST
Water temperature 82.9 degrees F

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Stephan Sloan
5:30 – 8:30
776-5336

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Michael Beason
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
Mikey P 8:00
Dance Party 11:00
777-3316

Cinnamon Bay
Eddie Bruce Drum Circle
6:30 – 8:00

Concordia
Bo & Lauren
6:30 – 9:00

High Tide
Mikey P
9:00
714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Reverend Ravin
6:00 – 9:00
776 6378

Miss Lucy’s
David Reed
6:00 – 9:00
693-5254

Morgan’s Mango
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:30
693-8141

Ocean Grill
T-Bird
6:30 – 9:00
693-3304

Rhumblines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
776-1100

Shipwreck Landing
Mitch Woods
7:00-10:00

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel & Company
6:00
779 4982

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off


Every day this week, I’ve had this early morning visitor. A beautiful bird it’s true, but there’s always something annoying about it. The last time it came around was when my mangoes were in season and it was a regular mango teef. Took big bites too. It could finish a mango in no time at all. It disappeared when the mangoes were gone, but it came back, as I said about a week ago. Comes at the break of dawn and lets out a screeching call that could wake up even the heaviest of sleepers.

I wonder where it came from. There is an indigenous parrot in the Caribbean, but this one isn’t one of them. I suppose it escaped from captivity and has adapted to life in the wild.

Update me when site is updated

Comments 1 Comment »

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

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

St. John Flora: Cacao tree, Theobroma cacao

Chocolate Fruit

The Cacao tree, Theobroma cacao is the tree from which chocolate is derived by grinding up and roasting the seeds inside the fruit. I once wrote, “the Cacao trees found growing alongside the Cinnamon Bay Loop Trail may be the only ones on the island,” but I found two more growing at Teri Gibney’s garden at Hawksnest Bay. And what a beautiful garden it is! Nestled within an old Bay Rum forest are all sorts of tropical fruit trees, egg fruit, coffee, mango, avocado, star fruit, aki, cocoa, jackfruit, bananas, pineapples and more. In addition there are flowers and orchids and palms all easily accessed along shaded rock-lined paths.

St. John Flora: Jackfruit

Jackfruit

An impressive tropical fruit tree in Trei’s garden is the jackfruit, (Artocarpus heterophyllus) which produces the largest tree-borne fruit in the world weighing up to 80 pounds and reaching sizes as large as three feet long and 20 inches  in diameter.

St. John Flowers: Lobster Claw

Lobster Claw: a species of genus Heliconia

Orchid at Gibney Beach St. John

White Orchid

St. John Weather
Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 86. East northeast wind around 15 mph. Water temperature 82. Sunset 6:36 pm

St. John Live Music – Tuesday April 17

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

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

Comments 2 Comments »

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