Friday, January 21, 2011

All God's Critters

View from Ram's Head Hike
(There is snow on the ground here in NYC this morning.  Let's ignore it and look back at life on the island.)

I entered our girls-weekend trip to St. John with few expectations.  I expected there would be beautiful beaches - check. I expected there would be frozen rum drinks - check. And I expected there would be ample space and time to spend laughing with my friends - check, check.

But what I hadn't expected was the wildlife - St. John is teeming with it.  We were able to get up-close-and-personal with a variety of God's critters, and that ended up being one of my favorite parts of the island experience.

Here's a laundry list of our creature-encounters:

1) Countless pelicans

Pelican at Maho Bay

2) Lotsa little lizards
3) One BIG lizard (a green iguana, who dropped from a tree on a shopping street, causing a passer-by1 to scream)

Green Iguana, Charlotte Amalie

4) Bright yellow starfish, with diameter bigger than a basketball!
5) Schools of colorful fish
6) Spiky sea urchins
7) Conches on coral
8) Hermit crabs hanging out near recycling bins

Hermit Crab near Salt Pond

9) Two squid
10) Four sting-rays
11) A few Great White Herons
12) Packs of wild goats, grazing roadside

Goats, Coral Bay

13) A group of cows, walking down a mountain
14) Roaming wild chickens (including one who crossed the road in front of us.2)

Chicken near Ms Lucy's

15) Doe-eyed, sweet wild donkeys

Donkeys, near Jeep

16) A mongoose
17) A wild boar
18) Fang-ed deer3
19) Two or three barracuda4
20) A sea-turtle wearing a UVA shirt5
21) A shark!6

All of the above were spotted on the island of St. John (or in its surrounding waters), with the exception of the BIG lizard, who was hanging around in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas.

1 - And that passerby was me.
2 - Why did the chicken cross the road??
3 - Kinda-sorta
4 - We're almost positive
5 - Not all.
6 - No really!  I did!

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