Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dry Season

According to a discussion with my co-workers the other day, we are currently in the middle of dry season in the BVI. I found this to be a bit of a surprise, as a low pressure system hovering over the Caribbean for the last two weeks has resulted in rains nearly every night and every morning, at least where I live. Our maintenance men assure me, however, that it really hasn't been very rainy - certainly not rainy enough to make the breadfruit grow, or the guavas ripen.

I suppose I've noticed that the hillsides have been looking rather brown lately, something I guess I attributed to it being winter, even though temperatures have definitely not been cool enough to make the trees drop their leaves. But the browning is inconsistent; one side of a hill will be lush and green, and the other side dead and brown. I imagine that similar phenomenon responsible for where moss and lichens grow is also responsible for this mismatched drying.

Still, I remained somewhat unconvinced that it's dry season. Having to keep the door closed at night to keep the rain out will do that. But yesterday morning, I saw this:

These succulents grow everywhere on the island, and they're normally the bright green color visible at the top of the photo. I've seen very similar succulents in Florida, but never before have I seen them turn fluorescent red like this. Perhaps the change in color is simply because these plants are a different subspecies from the ones I knew in Florida, but I'll attribute it, for now, to the dry season. Like leaves changing colors in fall, in Tortola, the succulents change colors when there's a scarcity of water.

And because they were quietly hanging out in the bush just across the road from the house this morning, undisturbed and unnoticed by the dogs when I was watching ... and then I couldn't help but take 12 pictures of them, here's a bonus road cow photo for you:

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