Tuesday, August 26, 2008

St. Croix's dinosaurs

My family has been traveling to St. Croix for about 7 or 8 years now, and until this past visit I have never seen an iguana on the island. I know they're there, but somehow, through all our travels on the island, I had never come across one.

Well, this time I got my fill! We found a great beach, Vincent Mason Sr. resort (right at the end of Sandy Point), that you used to have to pay to visit (there's a really nice pool and bathrooms/showers/pavilion/picnic tables/umbrellas/grills, and workers to keep the place nice), but the past few years it's been free. Not many people know that, so it's a generally quiet, safe place to go. The snorkeling was fantastic (pictures will come once I get them developed), the people around the place were nice, and the parking lot was filled with iguanas.

The first day we went I didn't bring my camera, but I was prepared the next day.

Here is the first guy I saw:
Really gray and scraggly looking, but look at that pretty tail! The next was brighter green:
It was really nervous about me approaching it, and kept taking short running bursts from the parking lot to the leafy area and finally into the trees. There were several others around, about the same size (1 to 2 feet long or so). And then there was THIS GUY:
When he had decided I was too close he made a mad dash across the parking lot to the edge you see him on in the last photo. Boy was he fast! And that crazy black dewlap... he then started head bobbing in really exaggerated motions, keeping his head lowered and suddenly throwing it back. Eventually as I snuck up on him taking photos, he decided I was too close and ran off into the trees.

There were also some bright green little ones:
And by the end of our visit there, it started to rain. A bunch of the iguanas ran out into the parking lot and began licking up the water, splashing and thrashing around in it, it was hilarious. Got one shot, not very good, it became a downpour really quickly and we barely made it into the car without getting completely soaked:
And there you have it, my giddy encounter with a bunch of iguanas, finally. I bet the locals hanging around the beach thought I was nuts.


BeckyKay said...

Holy moly! My son would have looooved that!

kim* said...

o dear, we have one in a cage. i cant imagine seeing one loose everyday :)

Pretty Fun said...

Very cool.

shannon said...

That's amazing. I love the pictures.

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