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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Orchid beach "Au Naturel"

I got up @ 6am, started coffee (sounds like a broken record, doesn't it). Had breakfast and listened to the roosters in the dark. Forecast called for clear skies and by the look of all the stars out they may have just this one right. Lorrie was up shortly thereafter. We left the house @ 7:45, our destination Orchid. Our car has a non-functioning window washer and the rain from the evening before had made a splattering of dust spots on the windshield. At some of the turns heading down to 997 I was nearly blind with the bright clear sun that was out. Who would have thought that window washer fluid is critical to navigating Vieques?

We arrived at Orchid a little after 8am and seeing no cars at La Chiva driving in I was confident that Casa Corona would be vacant. I was right. We packed our gear to the cabana and sat up for the day. It was while we were setting up that I noticed a tent across from the main beach over on the little beach that lies on the east side of Orchid. "Someone has camped here all night!"....I thought. They're not allowed to do that. I immediately felt myself taking possession of Orchid. I also noticed that their tent was right in the midst of the rock art gallery and that a lot of pieces had been turned over. Yep, that aggrivated me a little more.  But then I paused. For what ever reason I thought about what Andre and Judy had talked about, the yin and the yang, when to hold on and when to let go. I let it all subside and thought for a moment, we too had made a mark , just like the campers were doing. I had built two different cabanas on Orchid, some people may find them unsightly (I can't imagine why though). But the thing is, in a few weeks or months it'll all be gone, just like the campers.

So calmed down we settled into our cabana, it was then that the show started. We noticed the campers emerge from their tent. And yes..they were both naked. They walked out into the water hugging and kissing enjoying the moment, free spirits, I guess.  To each his own. We knew that within an hour or so more people would be showing up, many with children so the show wouldn't last. We were wrong. They continued to parade around, passing an occasional joint between each other. I decided it was time to talk a walk to the other side of the beach (away from the show) and maybe see if I could get some pictures.

As I headed west from our cabana I noticed "Maddies" sand castle, it was mostly gone now. She was one of the daughters  of a young couple we had seen  2 days ago. "Will" was her fathers name, I spoke with him about snorkeling. Maddie had stayed on the beach with her mom when they had arrived at Orchid, not going out into the water with her other two sisters.  Lorrie and I were watching how she was mimicking her mom who was laying on the beach reading. After her father headed into the surf giving the 2 other  girls boogy board rides Maddie couldn't stand it any more. She decided it was more fun being a kid. Later, after she was finished in the water, she built the sandcastle, putting her name on it.

Further down the beach I saw an iquana track. This wasn't far from where I filmed one a few days  ago. you can tell it was an iquana by the line in the sand, made by the dragging tail.  At different places along the beach there are virtual iguana highways.

 As I turned to head back to the other end of the beach I looked at my own footprints, first ones this morning.

I decided next to walk down to where Andre and Judy would hang out each day. I wanted to see if any of their land crabs (kinetic evironmental art as Judy called it) were present. On the way down to that spot I found these tracks below. I thought maybe they were from a mongoose.

There was no land crabs present down by Judy and Andres spot. There was however all kinds of sign. Those little rascals had been very busy, that much is for sure. I took a few shots:

I thought this one was interesting. The way the land crab crossed the tire track:

Then I found this guy. He looked to be anti-social:

Not having the video cam today was turning out not to be such a bad thing. I was slowing down and looking at things. Reminds me of Aldo Leopold following skunk tracks in the spring. All kinds of activity on these beaches if you just take the time to look. The little sand crabs are particularly industrious with tracks heading out in all directions from their little holes.

Someone had left a pair of beach shoes on Orchid a few days ago. This heron walked right by not giving a second look.

It was after I took this shot that I noticed the campers were gone and the show was over. I decided to walk over to the area they were at and see what kind of tracks they left. First thing I found was their fire ring. They had used one of the rock sculptures  as part of their fire ring. When I reached down to try and pick up the piece of coral it broke into a number of smaller pieces. Ying and Yang

I replaced the broken coral with a new piece. I hope Andre and Judy would approve.


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