Visit to Nevis and St. Kitts, February and March of 2023

This year we went to Nevis quite early in the year because I really wanted to take a non-stop flight not only traveling to Nevis via St. Kitts, but also coming back home again to NYC.

If we could get a non-stop flight for our return to NYC, we would not have to change planes in Miami, which is unpleasant, difficult, and time-consuming. When you go home from Nevis via Miami, the trip from St. Kitts to JFK takes 8 hours, as compared to 4 hours if you are fortunate enough to be on a non-stop flight. For the end of this trip I booked us onto the last possible non-stop return flight back to NYC, which occurred on Saturday March 25th (presumably this counts as the last day of the winter tourism season) and because we wanted to stay on Nevis for 4 weeks, that meant we needed to start our vacation on Feb 25th.

I expected Nevis to be all dried out, as the winter drought is usually still going on at this time of year. However, we were fortunate that Nevis had had a lot of rain over the course of about 3 weeks before we arrived, so everything, including the wild hillsides, looked quite lush and green, and there were a lot of weeds and wildflowers in bloom. There were several that I had not seen before, including the Yellow-flowered Waterhyssop shown further down this page.

The Oualie Bay Area, where we stay, had seen some changes since last year's visit: the very large rough pasture between the hotel and the main road was completely and thoroughly fenced off with barbed wire, except for one entrance near what I call "the laundry barns" of the Oualie Beach Hotel. However, a few feral donkeys and a flock of local sheep were able to find their way into and out of the pasture using that one entrance.

Major road work was being carried out on this part of the main road (the main road is the road which encircles the island). In the Oualie area, the road is being widened, in most places it is being raised, although where it goes over a steep hill with poor visibility it is being lowered, and also it is being resurfaced. This process has temporarily made the road very unpleasant to walk along. The workers seemed to be using a mixture of crushed rock and concrete mix, which was dumped on the surface, steam-rollered in place, then watered, and allowed to sun dry, and set. Then about 4 inches of asphalt was laid down on top of the crushed rock mixture. When the work is completely finished, I hope there will be somewhere on both sides of the road for pedestrians to walk, because currently the edges of the the new road are just like small messy cliffs. If you accidentally drove off the road, your car would roll for sure.

There is a small herd of beautiful and friendly brown cows which are are usually to be seen wandering around next to and in around the hotel. The cattle are owned by John Yearwood, who also half-owns the hotel, but during this visit they were not around at all. Because the roadwork would have been dangerous and unpleasant for the cattle, John currently has had the herd pastured in a field some distance away, to the east of Lovers Beach.

The two kitchen cats that usually grace the hotel with their presence had been cut down to one by a sad accident. I was told by one of the staff that Bandit got run over when he was crossing the road, but another staff person said the cat was accidentally poisoned. The one surviving cat, Smokey, was impossible to find most of the time, so unfortunately we had very little cat contact until quite late in the trip, when Smokey realized that we were an asset because we had brought with us a bag of delicious kitty treats with catnip in them.

The local wildlife, such as the insects, including the butterflies and moths, was interesting because it seemed to be a somewhat different line-up of species to what is here when we are on Nevis in April or May. For example. I twice saw a Zebra Longwing near the hotel.

I managed to find a few new species of plants, as well as several new Lepidoptera, and plus, searching for new-to-the-list shells on St Kitts produced a decent number of positive results for me.

It is too early for the Neem trees to be fully in flower, and the beach morning glories only have very few flowers out this early. The Flame Trees have no sign of flowers yet at all at this time of year.

Posted on 10 March, 2023 23:46 by susanhewitt susanhewitt

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Poison Ash (Comocladia dodonaea)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 9, 2023 05:34 PM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Neem (Azadirachta indica)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 9, 2023 06:15 PM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellow-flowered Waterhyssop (Mecardonia procumbens)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 10:59 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Frogfruits (Genus Phyla)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:00 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Porknut (Vachellia macracantha)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:01 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:05 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

False Daisy (Eclipta prostrata)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:06 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Devil's Horsewhip (Achyranthes aspera)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:07 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Creeping Beggarweed (Desmodium incanum)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:07 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Bahama Nightshade (Solanum bahamense)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:08 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Portia Tree (Thespesia populnea)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:11 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Human (Homo sapiens)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:22 AM AST

Description

One of the very nice cleaning ladies who works at the hotel, called me into a nearby cottage which she had just cleaned and prepared for two new visitors. She thought I might want to photograph the way she had decorated the four poster bed with towels and flowers. It was indeed very lovely.

Photos / Sounds

What

Plant Bugs (Family Miridae)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 11:24 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Dicots (Class Magnoliopsida)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 01:41 PM AST

Description

A view of Nevis and Nevis Peak from the water taxi halfway over to Cockleshell Bay on the end of the southeast peninsula of St. Kitts.

Photos / Sounds

What

Nickernut (Guilandina bonduc)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 01:53 PM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellow Tube Sponge (Aplysina fistularis)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 03:36 PM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Atlantic Sea Plumes (Genus Antillogorgia)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 03:40 PM AST

Description

Probably.

Photos / Sounds

What

Shell Ginger (Alpinia nutans)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 04:03 PM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Broomweed (Malvastrum coromandelianum)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

March 10, 2023 04:07 PM AST

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