15 July, 2017

A Walk Through The Jungle With Nolbert And Barnie

My young friend, Nolbert, is visiting his step grandfather's friend (and also my friend) Craig, just up the beach from us.  You may remember Nolbert from a post I wrote last year - "The First Adventure of Green Shanks and Yellow Legs" describing a little sea trip Nolbert and I made in our green and yellow kayaks.  We had the kayaks out again Friday morning and then in the afternoon we went for walk through jungle.  Nolbert kindly had Barnie on a leash so I could be free to take photos without Barnie's "help".  Below are a few of the photos from the first part of our walk.

First up is a very delicate orchid Brassavola nodosa, known as Dama de Noche.  I only was able to take 2 quick photos because ants had gotten into my socks and demanded immediate attention.  Some moderate cursing may have been involved.  Good thing Nolbert had Barnie out of earshot!  Back to the Lady of the Night.  Although she is delicate and ephemeral in appearance, the flowers stay beautiful for about 3 weeks.  They seem to glow in the dimness of the mangrove swamp.
Brassavola nodosa, AKA as Dama de Noche
Once the ants were dispatched, I continued on, catching up with Nolbert and Barnie.  This part of the path is on a man-made raised walk that goes westward toward Black Creek.  On either side of the raised path is mangrove swamp that is home to lots of wildlife.
Nolbert leading Barnie down the path to Black Creek.
See those roots growing across the path above?  They are a real tripping hazard when running in the damn dim dawn light.  My shoulder still aches from that spill.  A little farther along is a vanilla orchid that I first spotted 3 years ago.  Back in March, I was showing it to a friend visiting from the US and we saw a vanilla bean pod on the vine!  I have been keeping an eye on the pod and will harvest it soon.  Another, more robust, vine is about 20 feet away.  I am keeping an eye on that one in hopes to spot it in bloom and and see more beans in the wild.  I'll need to see it in flower before I can determine which species it is.
Protruding vanilla bean in all its rude glory. 
The most dramatic orchid we see around here in Englishtown is Myrmecophila tibinicus.  This orchid hosts ant colonies in its pseudobulbs and the ants swarm all over the flowers, as you can see in the image below.  There is some variation in the color of the bottom lip of the flowers.  This particular stalk has lips of the palest pink.  Others, which I will show in future posts, are fuchsia, pale yellow, or white.
Myrmecophila tibinicus, with its attendant ants.
Nolbert, Barnie, and I backtracked to return to the coastal path that goes from our place in South Englishtown, through Central Englishtown, and finally ends in North Englishtown at Craig's place; a whopping 0.6mi as the pelican flies.
The sea is just to our right on the coastal path.
Spider lilies love growing near the sea; you often find them just above the high tide line.
Spider lilies.
They have the most amazing smell - very lily-like, but not as cloying and oppressive as many other lilies.

 Each flower last only a day, but the flowers on a given cluster open over the span of about a week.
More from our walk in the next post.

Apologies to my readers for my long absence.  I was completely devastated by Trump's election.  Enough said about that.  But I want to offer a thank you to my friends and blog readers who have encouraged me to write again - I appreciate it very much.


  1. So happy to see you back and I empathize! What a glorious place. So much beauty. Ants in your socks? You should have followed Nolbert's (and Barnie's) queue and gone barefoot! Problem solved?

    1. Thank you, Mitchell. Your blog is an inspiration for me.

      I often wear flipflops for just that reason, but my feet are just too tender to go barefoot. I am a wimp.

  2. Welcome back Wilma, you've been missed. I love those Spider Lilies, amazing flowers.

    1. Thanks for encouraging me to start back, Derek.

      I do love those lilies. Local people take them for granted and regard them as weeds. Familiarity breeds contempt, I suppose.

    2. You get that in birdwatching all the time Wilma, birds that I see on a daily basis and rarely glance at, people in other parts of the country get excited about seeing just one.

  3. I'm so glad you've returned. Blogland is a great go-to for times of despair and devastation.

    Had you not pointed out the ants, I wouldn't have noticed. But that orchid is very intricate and strange - looks like a heart, with valves and arteries...

    Take good care, Wilma. We'll get through.

    1. Hi Robyn - thanks. I so enjoy reading the blogs that I follow and do find them to be a source of inspiration, humor, entertainment, and basically another take on life. "With a little help from my friends."

      I have more pictures of that orchid coming up later today or tomorrow. They are very intricate.

      We will get through. Cheers.

  4. I'm glad your back Wilma.
    Who is Trump anyway.?? :)

  5. Welcome back! Be sure to sniff the B. nodosa blooms after dark. Used to grow one under lights in MN. So sweet.

    1. Ooooh - I'll be sure to try that! Thanks for letting me know.

  6. I am sooo glad you are back. I missed your posts, though I understand your absence. We have not been back to church since the election. Again, enough said! Be safe in the coming hurricanes.

    1. Thanks, Jan, for your encouraging comments. We are hurricane-free so far this season, but it is toward the end of the season that their trajectory tends to shift south towards us. We still have to be vigilant for a few more months.


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