Posted by: ktzefr | November 8, 2010

St. John’s Critters: Up Close in the US Virgin Islands National Park

St. John, US Virgin Islands National Park

Some may think St. John’s two-legged, transient critters (the ones that come and go when it starts snowing up North) are as wild as the local fauna.  Perhaps, there’s a bit of truth to this as some folks like to let loose on holiday.  We’ve often found the “wild” animals quite willing to be photographed.  (The two-legged transplants?  Maybe not so much.)  Double click on photos for the best quality; use back arrow to return to this post.

A few favorites…

"Wild" Donkeys of St. John

People have always kept and ridden domestic donkeys, but many of them run free here.  A few years back they weren’t nearly as visible to visitors as they are today.  I recall hearing them run through the woods on very dark nights (no streetlights, few houses), but rarely caught a glimpse.

Sometimes you have to look hard to find the tiniest creatures…

Hermit Crab

Frangipani Hornworm

The frangipani hornworm (Pseudosphinx tetrio) becomes a giant gray sphinx moth, a common moth in the American tropics.  Click HERE for more info.

Oops!  This fellow was too quick for us.

Land crab slipping into hole

Some blend in well with their surroundings.

Lizard

Tiny critters, big nest…

Termite nest

Yes!  The water IS this clear…

Sea Urchins, Hawksnest Bay, St. John

A pelican preens himself near Honeymoon Beach…

 

Pelican in a tree...

while a relative keeps his eye on the fish.

Pelican

A couple of pretty yellow birds stop by to visit…

A hurricane a few years back almost wiped out the mongoose population, but the strong do survive…

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi?

Say cheese…

Deer having a snack

Out for an afternoon stroll…

Deer in the park

This fellow pretty much epitomizes the way every critter (including the two-legged visitors) spends quality time in the islands — just hanging out, flopped over a tree branch (or a beach chair).

Iguana

The VI National Park is a perfect place to leave only your footprints…

Mucho thanks to my photographer/chef son Dylan whose pictures really don’t need words to go along with them, but I couldn’t resist adding a few.

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