Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blue iguanas

Well we had walked around a bit and all of a sudden a man was standing in the path ahead and waved us over. Our trip was a success. There were 2 blue iguanas or otherwise called blue dragons. They were huge. And so mellow. They were just sitting in the sun trying to warm up from the cool night before. So luck was with us. We had a tour group come through while we were there taking photos and she said there was another one ahead by the pond. He was bigger still. So we took lot's of shots and moved on to the next one. She told us we could get close but not to touch them as they can bite. Well I wouldn't touch them anyways as they are wild. Out of 30-40 iguanas to see 3 within 15 min of each other was amazing. It was the time of day and they were out to get a meal and warm their bodies. What magnificent creatures. We could see were the other name blue dragon came from. They are really quite prehistoric looking. And a beautiful color. These are all radio tagged and color coded. The color coded tell them who is who when they are tracking them. So they don't have to go to close say if a female is doing her nest or laying. They know who it is and wait to collect the eggs when she is done. You can just see the color tags on the neck. If the iguanas breed the eggs are collected to guarantee they hatch. At one point this species was down to only 12 individuals. They are working hard to bring them back. Of coarse the tropical storms are hazardus as well to the habitat and species. The grand caymen racer snake's are a threat,when the young hatch out they usually go immediatly to the trees. The snakes can climb but the iguanas jump to another tree and by doing this can survive. Once they reach about 3 months of age they are big enough to come down and survive on their own. To big for the snakes to eat them. Once in a while however a baby does not leave the den right away and a snake enters and eats it. Survival is also threatened by ferrel cats and dogs. The more they can raise in the wild the better chance of survival for the species. It is a wonderful program that I would love to be a part of it.

Grand Caymen flowers

Well I would go as far to say that this little island has some amazing colorful flowers. And you never know what you will find in them. The last shot here shows a little brown anole lizard huddling to this plant. I think the first one might be a bird of paradise but not totally sure. Very stunning flower. We have another Julia butterfly that kindly landed beside me as I was walking. And a couple differnt vibrant red flowered plants. I don't know what these are but the splash of color was a real treat.

Grand Caymen Island

Out in the seas we always had some amazing cloud formations. Here is one that looked very strange. We went to Grand Caymen Island and got off the ship and did our own thing. We took a $5.00 bus trip to Queen Elizabeth 2 Botanical Gardnes in hopes of seeing the endangered blue iguanas. There are said to be only between 30-40 in the wild. They do breed them here as well although we did not go to that area. We chose to do our own leasurly walk through. It was wonderful. In the parking lor we noticed signs to warn people to check under the car before driving off for the iguanas. The water lillies in the gardens were spectacular and the butterflies were plentiful. Here we had a julia butterfly on a wild poinsetta bush. The color was amazing.


Miami Everglades Safari Park held true to the Everglades reputation. Lots of birds and alligators. This purple gallinule was so brilliant holding true colors for it's name.Alligators basking everywhere getting thier bodies waremed up. It was wonderful. I could spend a whole holiday in the Evergldes no problem. Then we have the pool in the Best Western hotel that we stayed at. Another wonderful place.

Monday, February 14, 2011


A jamaican security guard at the gate of the Enchanted Gardens.

Taking a break in the hot sun

The beautiful shoreline of Ocho Rio's Jamaica.


The enchanted gardens were amazing. Waterfalls everywhere. Cool crystal clear waters flowing down them. It was so cooling and refreshing on a hot day in Jamaica

Here just off the port we saw a few kitties on the rocks. This little one was enjoying a stretch and a nap in the warm sun.

Although off a little in sequence. This is when the ship was coming alongside the island of Jamaica. Beautiful.


Bahama mockingbird

As we were leaving the Enchanted Gardens I saw movement that made me look up. Here was a jamaican up a tree like tarzan doing preening of the vines it looked like.

We saw these banana spiders all over the place in the trees. Very cool looking spider with quite the coloring. Are harmless which was a good thing.