Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Because there had to be an uncanny coda to the bizarre frog statue at our old apartment ...

Because I unwittingly said I would miss that statue when we moved ...

Because there is an abnormal affection for amphibians in the BVI interior decorating world ...

Still a bit unfamiliar with this new apartment, I stumble bleary-eyed, into the bathroom in the middle of the night, flip the light switch, and ...


When I started writing Basset's View of the Islands, I considered tagging my posts to organize them into neat little chunks of information for folks new to this site. Not knowing what the blog would morph into, though, I didn't want to limit my writing by creating a bunch of labels or tags for my posts to fit into. I figured after a few months, I would go back through and make some tags.

A year after my first post, and I still hadn't made or used a single tag. So I made it a goal for my month off from work to get my tags organized. I return to work tomorrow, and I have finally finished the arduous task of tagging nearly 300 posts. You can see the tags over there on the right side of the page, under the popular posts.

Most of the tags are pretty self-explanatory, although "Shorts" refers to brief posts, not clothing, and "lime" is kind of a catch-all for generally pleasing things about the BVI or my time here. For folks that have found their way to this blog and are planning on moving to the BVI, I would particularly recommend the "TortolaHo" tag, along with "Futilities", and "BVIInfo". "BVIInfo" is also a good resource for travelers to the BVI. 

Thanks for sticking with me through 55 weeks and 299 posts. I look forward to the next 300.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Little Jost van Dyke

On a day like today, when it is clear, and still, visibility is amazing, and it's possible to see people lounging on the beaches of Little Jost van Dyke, four miles distant from my deck.

I would give up the excellent visibility any day, though, for a hint of breeze to take the sting out of the mosquitoes, and the heat out of the humidity.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bovine Bonanza

There is a sizable herd of road cows that live near our new apartment, a fact which generally delights me, except when they impede my progress. Friday was one of those occasions. I was returning home from dropping HB at work when I found my way blocked by the herd.

Creeping along slowly in the car, so as not to startle the cows, I hoped that they might move out of the way as I approached. Most of them did, but some of them were a bit more stubborn.

After finding my way past most of the cows, I came alongside a cow tucked against the side of the road. I had plenty of room to pass her, but not the bull hanging out at her left flank. I rolled forward, and as the bull didn't move, I honked the horn a couple of times. No luck.

I sat in the car, strategizing my way around the bull. Thinking I might just be able to squeeze by, I started moving forward slowly again, when the bull reared back on its hind legs.

Afraid the front of the car was about to get crushed by 1000 pounds of angry bovine, I held my breath and waited for the worst ... only to see the bull land on the cow instead. As the pair of them coupled in cow bliss, I made my escape, and hustled the Hyundai to safety.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Brewer's Bay Road West

My favorite part of my new commute is where it coincides with Brewer's Bay Road West.

I enjoy the contrast between the large, gated or walled homes and the more modest dwellings, and how they coexist on this road.

I also like the shady spots, where the trees span over the road, and enclose the car, ever-so-briefly.

I like how at certain points, the driveways diverge from the road, and you can't always tell for sure which is which.

And the excellent views of Cane Garden Bay from this portion of the road.

My favorite house on the road. I like it for its more modern exterior finishes, and the huge balcony on the 2nd story.

HB's favorite house on the road. The dark roof beams and bright, clean white of the house provide a lovely contrast. But I think he really likes all the pelican posts.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I have been accustomed to think of a vacation as a type of retreat, an opportunity for some high quality rest and relaxation. My two weeks in Colorado, though, and especially the three nights at the cottage outside of Lyons, have forced me to reevaluation my vision and understanding of vacation.

When I lived in Colorado, I always looked forward to the cottage outside Lyons as a chance to get away from it all. HB and I would go up for a night or two, and spend every spare moment doing nothing. Not having anything to worry about or decide beyond sitting by the stream under the maple trees or the pine trees was exactly what I wanted out of a vacation. I could relax and unwind. I could spend some time really getting a lime on, if you will.

Visiting the cottage outside Lyons on this most recent trip, I found myself disappointed. I wasn't enjoying all the quality time sitting outside by the stream, or inside by the fire, doing nothing. I felt like something was different about the place -- it wasn't giving me the same sensations it used to.

It took me a day or two to realize: the place hadn't changed, I had. I was already rested and relaxed. I didn't need to do nothing and unwind. I didn't need to lime -- I had been spending the last year doing exactly that. A retreat was not what I wanted; I wanted immersion and engagement.

Once I understood this, I was able to enjoy the rest of my time at the cottage, and in Colorado, accepting that I had mis-judged what I wanted out of my vacation. In the future, I will know that since I am so well-relaxed at home, I will need to look for a different kind of r&r -- recreation and revelry.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Christmas Card

When I snapped this photo in Rocky Mountain National Park, I told HB it would be our Christmas card this year

He objected, on the grounds that it did not make sense to send a photo of an evergreen in Colorado to our friends and family in Colorado for Christmas. Since we live in the BVI, he said, we should send a BVI-related card.

Perhaps I'll be able to figure out a good angle on this palm tree in our garden, with it's naturally Christmas-colored adornments.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Happy to be back in the BVI. Happy to be back around my favorite creatures in the world. Hopefully, the same creatures are happy to be home again, after two weeks spent at the BVI Humane Society.

Roscoe apparently succumbed to some kind of wormy parasite while there, and it slowly recovering. Lots of sleep and good eats seem to be helping.

Both dogs received a thorough de-ticking on the porch before being allowed in the house. Roscoe seemed to relish having the 40 or so vampiric arachnids removed from him. Flash refused to sit still long enough for a thorough examination, but his naturally oily skin meant we only found about 20 on him.

Here's to many more tick-free mornings spent lounging in the sun on the porch.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Back in the BVI today, but I still have a few photos left of Colorado I'd like to share here, before we get back to our regularly scheduled programming of boats, beaches and bars. 

Even though I've been on all the paved roads Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) has to offer, I still love driving through it when I'm back in Colorado. Along with Garden of the Gods, in Colorado Springs, RMNP is one of my favorite mountain spots. Easy to get to from Denver, but easy to feel isolated and surrounded by nature. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rocky Mountain Creatures

When we went into Rocky Mountain National Park on Wednesday, I was hoping to photograph an animal or two to post here for today's creature feature, maybe some elk if we were lucky. Instead, I ended up with photos of a wide variety of Rocky Mountain creatures for your viewing pleasure.

A big bull elk lounging on the tundra

A yellow marmot showing off his mad rock-climbing skills

A bighorn sheep, browsing in town near some cabins

A coyote on the prowl

A pair of mule deer fawns along the riverbank

A cheeky chipmunk, posing for the camera

Saturday, September 10, 2011


HB and I escaped to the mountains for the majority of the week. We stayed at our favorite cottages, a few miles outside of Lyons.

After days of beautiful Colorado sunshine, we were doomed to chilly, misty rains for the first two nights of our excursion. I rather enjoyed the atmosphere it leant my photos though.

This line of cottonwoods along Highway 36 always tricks me into thinking they're cypresses, which don't grow very well in Colorado. I'm not sure if the owner or the wind has done the shaping here.

A very nice homestead on the high prairie. Scenes like this make me homesick for Colorado, even when I'm here.

Although part-buried houses are very practical for heating and cooling purposes, I don't really have any desire to live in one. I like to keep an eye on this one, though, along the road to Estes Park, as it continues to decay over the years. Perhaps one day I will drive by and it won't be here.

Lyons is known (in Colorado at least) for the quality of its building-grade sandstone, and some of the exposed sandstone formations in the area are remarkable.

Native Coloradans have much to say on the subject of the deep true blue of the sky, and on the second day of our excursion, the sun finally came out so I could photograph it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


It never fails to astound me how much your daily experience changes your perception of the world around you. I initially was thinking in terms of temperature. It's no secret that HVAC is uncommon in the BVI. Even at work, where we do have an A/C unit in the office, we usually keep the temperature set around 26C (80F). Living in the BVI climate on a daily basis for the last year has changed my perception of what constitutes a cold temperature, and I find myself shivering violently in the cool Colorado morning temperatures of 65F (19C).

The daily BVI grind has changed my perception of other things, though, too. It's helped me appreciate how lucky almost every single American is to be living in the United States. It's made me understand why people from other places in the world are so desperate to get here. Not only is the infrastructure here among the best in the world, but the number of choices available on a daily basis makes my head spin -- pick between 60 kinds of breakfast cereal, three or four ways to get to work, a myriad of restaurants for lunch, hundreds of entertainment options. The infrastructure that ensures there's water every time you turn on the tap, combined with all the available products and services -- these things don't exist in most of the rest of the world. How lucky I am to be a US Citizen.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Neighbor Goat

One of the most exciting parts of our new apartment is the goat that lives right across the street.

He was awfully inquisitive when I approached him, and ran up to Roscoe to give him a good sniff, even though Roscoe seemed like he couldn't care less.

I should probably hold off on being too excited though. I didn't see him on Wednesday or Thursday, and I have this sinking feeling that he's likely been curried.

A good lesson for me not to become too attached to the animals.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

West End Ferry

We left the BVI yesterday around 10:15 on Smith's Ferry, but the half-hour or so we spent lounging around the ferry terminal was enjoyable, as the West End ferminal always seems to offer good opportunities for photos.

This photo sums up the BVI pretty well -- a bunch of folks sitting around talking about nothing.

We were fascinated by this mega-yacht with a Barbados (?) flag docked at Soper's Hole.

Saying goodbye to the BVI as the ferry boat pulls away from the dock. Only sixteen more hours of travel left. 

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