A Trip Down Turtle Tail

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A lone flamingo feeds in the Juba salina just a short ways from Harbour Club Villas

I decided on taking one of our fishing guests down Turtle Tail to see for myself where he could access some flats in order to do some bonefishing. Must say, this area is still as beautiful as ever but with many newly constructed houses going up.

I haven’t seen the flamingos for quite an age and was so excited to see one, lone beauty.

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I couldn’t get him to stop feeding and to lift his head up……….too busy “vacuuming” through the silty bottom.

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My beach also known locally as Dog Beach was just awesome with all those turquoise colours

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Looking towards Jim Hill and the new villas being built beside Bajacu

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Bonefishing flat with some of the Five Little Cays in the distance

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Old conch shells piled up on shore

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Now this has some potential for some DIY bonefishing

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Jet skiers were out on this beautiful day

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Rocky southern shoreline with secret pathway down to the water’s edge

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Private gazebos overlooking stunning turquoise waters

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Mangroves down Turtle Tail with some sweet bonefishing spots

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Harbour Club Villas and Marina on the edge of Flamingo Lake perfect for bonefishing

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Looking across Flamingo Lake towards the villas at Harbour Club

Posted in Bonefishing, Conch, fish, Fishing, Flora and Fauna, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perfect Day in the Turks and Caicos

Cruising the waters of Providenciales with Island Vibes has to be one of the “must do’s” on your next trip to the Turks and Caicos.

We had a glorious, picture perfect day with calm seas as we boarded the boat…..and YES, I’ve lived here for almost 20 years and still am in awe of all the beauty around me.

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Two dolfin came out to play with us today….a mother and her young one.

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Just love to see dolphins swimming wild and free in the seas around the Turks and Caicos Islands

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Half Moon Bay and one spectacular stretch of beach

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Island Vibes Tours are a great outfit with whom to head out onto the water for an afternoon of fun

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Trying to GoPro a lemon shark in the shallows

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Shows you just how clear the waters are!

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Swimming back to the boat after some amazing snorkeling out at the reef

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Breakers on the reef at Providenciales Turks and Caicos Islands

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A little bit of refreshment………great Turk’s Head rum punch all round

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A piece of heaven on a large sandbar out by Dellis Cay

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Many sand dollars partially hidden in the sand and the sparkling waters

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Such scenery can only be found in the Turks and Caicos

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Rippling dancing water on the sandbar

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Even a little sea star was taken back out a little further so it wouldn’t get stranded on the sand bar

It was a pretty rough ride for the kids on the way back………..time for some tubing and WOW did they go flying. Such fun as they hung on tight and still managed to fall off.

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Screams of fun as the kids went tubing on the way back

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The hectic ending to a perfect day

What a fun day it was out on Island Vibes. A fantastic time was had by everyone.

Join us won’t you?

 

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Boat Charters, Dolphins, fish, Half Moon Bay, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Snorkeling, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harbour Club Villas and Marina

This gallery contains 76 photos.

  Harbour Club Villas and Marina is a group of six, one bedroom villas or cottages that sits on a rise between two waterfronts: we have Flamingo Lake on one side and the ocean at Cooper Jack Bight on the other on Provo’s … Continue reading

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Snorkel at Smith’s Reef

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Mike, GoPro in hand and ready for some snorkeling at Smith’s Reef

A new GoPro gift combined with summer “silly” season makes for ideal conditions for snorkeling here on island. Only stipulation being that I get to use any of Mike’s underwater shots in my blog. Mike’s photo’s are absolutely stunning.

Smith’s Reef is relatively easy to find but many people miss the outer mini wall. Currently you are right there if you take the little trail from the road that winds through the bush leading to the observation tower. (The old way in).

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A map of the reef showing the 22′ channel where often you’ll see rays.

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The sandy area with the discoloured, slightly yellowish area closer to the horizon being the mini wall.

 

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Another beautiful Provo day just made for some snorkeling.

Just a few words before you set out to enjoy and explore our reefs.

Please do not touch or stand on anything as coral is a living animal and be sure not to brush anything with your flippers, equipment or gear.

Do not cover yourself heavily with sunscreen before snorkeling and of course biodegradable lotions are available and better yet, buy a rash guard.

Please do not chase any sea life or try to feed.

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A Green Sea Turtle poses for photos beside a Purple Sea Whip.

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Smile you’re on camera.

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A Spotted Eagle Ray passing through.

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Love the reflections in the water.

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A Porcupine Fish showing spines swims amongst the coral.

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A six foot nurse shark rests on the sandy bottom.

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Big and docile just resting on the bottom ready for a photo shoot.

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A passing summer storm intensifies the turquoise colours.

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And meanwhile along the shore, a rock pool find of a Helmet Shell.

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Such beauty surrounds us and take a look at the exquisite markings on this shell.

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See the eyes peeking out of the shell of this baby conch and the claw-like operculum with which they move across the ocean floor.

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Back to the reef and this beauty…..a Honeycomb Cowfish apparently quite rare.

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Love those eagle rays as they gracefully glide through the waters.

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Mike says this green turtle took a keen interest in the camera.

All the amazing underwater photos are taken by Mike so I thank him for letting me use them for my blog.

Enjoy the reefs everyone but please take care as you snorkel to preserve and protect the coral and sea life.

Snorkel responsibly and have fun.

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

 

Posted in Conch, fish, Flora and Fauna, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Shells, Snorkeling, Turks and Caicos Islands, Turtles, Underwater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

South West Bluff and Osprey Rock

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Views of Chalk Sound and its magnificent colours on the way down to the south west tip of Provo

A perfectly beautiful Sunday and a trip is planned to head down to the southern most tip of the island at South West Bluff and Osprey Rock. I always enjoy this excursion and make sure all my batteries are fully charged. There’s always so many plants, birds, views and our extraordinary clear ocean with its’ marine life to photograph.

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A Black Legged Stilt was very vocal as he tried to scare me away.

There’s a beautiful pond area as you get closer to the little beach by Osprey Rock. There seems to always be salt foam looking much like snow. This Sunday there were several Black Legged Stilts and they really didn’t like my being there. Perhaps there were nests as they tried to ward me off.

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A large patch of wild sea island cotton

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Sea island cotton has such pretty yellow blossoms

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The first view you get of the beach and rocks at South West Bluff looking towards Bonefish Point

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One section of the beach is strewn with old conch shells

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The ocean looking from the pirate’s cave

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Pretty beaded periwinkle shells line the jagged rocks as you wade through the shallow waters.

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Sand ripples and Osprey Rock in the background

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The shallows on the sandbar at Bonefish Point with a cushion sea star.

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Chitons are found attached to the rocks

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Interesting rock formations

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The waters are so very clear …….. you can see everything!

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An osprey stands in the water and he knows I’m there.

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The lowest tide I’ve ever seen out on the sandbar at Bonefish Point

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A cushion sea star on Bonefish Point in the shallow flats.

Such an amazing area for a picnic lunch with friends and do take a walk down to Bonefish Point. I can assure you that you will see so many interesting things as you walk along the beaches and rocks. It is one of Provo’s gems and one of my favourites.

Enjoy,

 

Marta

 

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Beaches, Birds, Birdwatching, Flora and Fauna, Flowers, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nesting Mourning Dove Part 2

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This little Mourning Dove set up her nest in the rafters of the Tiki Hut at Harbour Club Villas and Marina. I’ve been photographing the nest and the parent doves for several weeks now. Here are the photos taken up until today, June 19, when I caught all the action of the little birds spreading and fluttering their wings and leaving the nest for the big wide world.

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Fluffing out those feathers so I was pretty sure the flight day was pretty close

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Feeding time as the little dove returns to the nest to feed his/her little ones.

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Getting big and ready to fly

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Time to spread those wings

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I’m watching you!!

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Away we go as the little birds leave the nest and head along the rafters

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Everyone safely down from the rafters of the Tiki Hut and onto the gravel in the parking lot

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both parents are watching out for the chicks

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They scuttled across the parking lot and the parents tucked them safely into a little sheltered spot off the drive way leading down to the marina

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They finally flew into the vegetation on our hill

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Sad to see them go…what am I going to photograph now?

Posted in Birds, Birdwatching, Flora and Fauna, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nesting Mourning Dove

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Mourning dove on her nest in the rafters of our tikihut.

We saw some twigs and straw sticking out of the rafters of the tikihut at Harbour Club Villas and Marina. As we went to clean it up, we discovered this pretty little Mourning Dove on its nest of twigs.

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Close up of its head and extraordinary colours around the eye.

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Here’s the nest up on a beam in Harbour Club’s tikihut by the pool.

The mourning dove is named for the rather haunting and sad cooing sound it makes. When it flies, it’s wings make a whistling sound. They are mostly seed eaters that feed on the ground and here at Harbour Club Villas, we often see them pecking at the gravel under our neem trees.

 

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The dove definitely didn’t let me out of her sight.

I couldn’t resist shooing it off the nest so that I could photograph the two eggs. Both parents will build a rather flimsy platform nest usually up high in a tree or a bush. The eggs hatch after 14 days or so and one is laid in the evening and the second one in the morning. Now I didn’t know that both parents care for the little ones. I have noticed another dove hanging around that has been spotted on the roof of the tikihut. I also learned that it’s usually the male that incubates the eggs during the day and the female at night. I don’t know that I can tell the difference between the male and the female.

 

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Two white eggs in a very sparse looking nest of twigs.

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My hand just to give you an idea of the size of the eggs

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Someone is watching me very carefully? Not sure if this is a male or female.

The mourning dove is 9-13 inches in length and has a wingspan of 15-18 inches. It has a grayish-brown body and quite a long, pointed tail that has a border of white. The dove’s head is small and rounded with a small, thin, black bill. Legs and feet are pink. The wing has black spots and there is a black spot under the eye. The eyes are brown and surrounded by a blue circle of skin. Males and females look alike, but the female is slightly smaller and duller in color.

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The dove started to puff up as I brought my camera closer.

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Fanning out wings and tail feathers to ward me off in the hopes I would go away.

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How beautiful are those tail feathers!

Both parents will feed the chicks that are also called squabs. They are fed pigeon milk which is a mixture of water, fat, minerals, and protein that the male and female mourning doves produce in their crop.  The crop is a sac that is found at the bottom of their esophagus.

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Two little baby doves huddled together……….no wonder the dove was protective.

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Close up of one of the little doves.

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The chicks will fledge when they are 2 weeks old.

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Nestlings are cared for by both parents and fledge in about 12-14 days.

In the days to come, I will add more photos as the chicks grow and leave the nest.

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Birds, Birdwatching, Flora and Fauna, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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Cushion sea star or starfish in the shallows.

A more modern name for Asteroidea or starfish is now Sea Stars. Usually they have five arms but sometimes a few species have more. Here are some beautiful Sea Stars that I have found and photographed around Providenciales out at Bonefish Point, Grace Bay, Taylor Bay as well as other areas of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Snorkeling the underwater world often brings an exciting discovery of a brightly coloured cushion sea star

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Knobby spines create a geometric design of orangey brown and yellow.

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Loads of starfish or sea stars found in Grace Bay

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Tiny crab found on the under side. Tube feet located under the arms have small suckers.

The red cushion star can be very large, sometimes growing to about 50 centimetres (20 in) in diameter. It usually has five thick, broad arms projecting from a cushioned disc  therefore the name. The colour of adults is some shade of red, orange, yellow or brown. The juveniles are greenish-brown with mottled markings which provide camouflage from predators.

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A juvenile Cushion Sea Star

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Small two spined sea star washed up as the tide goes out

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Front and back of the two spined sea star found out at S W Bluff on Providenciales

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Burying itself in the sand

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Not sure what kind this one is

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Pretty shot as it buries itself in the sand

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Seemed to have one longer arm?

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Pretty painted toes as a size guage

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Showing the underside with small suckers or tubes

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Red Spiney Sea Star found out at South West Bluff on Provo

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This one had lost an arm

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Osprey Rock in the background with a little Red Spiny sea star

Sea stars are often found in calm shallow waters (depths from 1 – 37 m) and more commonly occur on calcareous sandy bottom. The ones I’ve found have been mainly out at Bonefish Point just off the sandbar. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy our “beautiful by nature” Turks and Caicos Islands on your next trip to Provo.

Happy Sea Star watching everyone.

 

Marta

 

www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted on by marta | Leave a comment

Half Moon Bay

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What a treat……..I’m thinking this had to be JoJo wanting to play with the boat.

What an amazingly beautiful day as guests headed out on an afternoon excursion on the turquoise waters …… look at the colours! We were just off Leeward Going Through when look who joined us? I’m pretty sure that it was JoJo the dolphin come to play. He stayed with us for a bit and then we were off headed for some snorkeling at the reef, iguanas, conch salad, Half Moon Bay and followed by some fun tubing  and water slide. Provo has many excellent boating, cruising and water fun excursions to offer as the one we were on. For more information, just contact us and we can make some suggestions.

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Our sensational waters………a turquoise like you’ve never seen before. WOW!

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Turks and Caicos rum punch coming up.

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Waves breaking on the reef as we prepare to do some snorkeling.

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Beautiful corals and a variety of fish as we snorkel beyond the cut.

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Island Vibes took us out for a glorious afternoon in the Provo sunshine.

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Love those silver palms precariously perched at the far end of Half Moon Bay

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The far end of the beach at Half Moon Bay is so beautiful to photograph….an idyllic spot.

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Found an Oyster Catcher sunning himself on the rocks. Not at all disturbed by the camera!

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A walk along the beach and such glorious colours

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Such an impressive looking iguana. The Rock Iguana Cyclura Carinata has had to be re introduced to less populated cays

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Conch shell on the beach. A delicious “fresh from the sea” conch salad was made and enjoyed by all.

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The kids had such fun tubing , sliding and jumping off the top of the boat.

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Smiling faces in the foaming wake of the boat while tubing.

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For an old guy, he still has it!! Diving off the top of the boat.

Book your excursions and enjoy being on the water in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Our beaches are spectacular and you can enjoy a cruise, diving for conch, taste some “as fresh as you can get it”conch salad, stop for some snorkeling on the reef, see iguanas and simply let the world float by as you finally relax on “island time”.

You too may be lucky and have JoJo the dolphin join in the fun.

 

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

Posted in Beaches, Birds, Birdwatching, Boat Charters, Conch, Dolphins, Half Moon Bay, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Iguanas, Providenciales, Snorkeling, Turks and Caicos Islands | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Jim Hill Nature Walk

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Jim Hill view towards Five Cays…….such calm turquoise waters today.

What an awesome  day it was today. One look at that turquoise, flat calm water and a quick trip up Jim Hill ended up being a good two hours. There was an abundance of glorious wild flowers in full bloom after the rains of last week. The Turks and Caicos Islands are blessed with so much natural beauty.

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The wispy, dried and twig like Broom Brush has undergone a transformation and now has white delicate flowers.

Most of the year, the Broom Brush goes un noticed as it looks withered and dry most of the time. The rains of last week created the greening of the branches and an abundance of delicate white flowers. The Broom Brush is endemic to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas.

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Jacquemontia Havanensis is a twining vine and the flowers on this one had pretty pink highlights.

Many of the shrubs were covered with this little vine with star shaped flowers. Many were white but there are variations with pink and light blue colours.

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I love the scent of the Bahama Strong Back which is similar to jasmine.

This shrub provides food for birds and insects and the fragrant flowers are a source of nectar for butterflies and the Bahama Woodstar Hummingbirds found in the Turks and Caicos. And when you boil the twigs and leaves making it into a tea, it relieves back pain and has medicinal properties. I’ve heard it is good for tummy problems too.

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This Old Man Cactus is about to burst out with a beautiful flower……..it generally blooms at night.

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Blooms are extraordinary…….satin like and with a cloying scent.

The Old Man Cactus flower is attractive to insects and butterflies and its bright red fruit is loved by our local birds.

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The Wild Senna has beautiful bright yellow flowers.

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The Candlewood when not flowering looks like a miniature holly bush.

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The Candlewood has bright spikey orange flowers with four longer stems that look like candles, thus the name.

 

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Encyclia Altissima, our beautiful wild orchid

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I don’t know what this is but it was a pretty little daisy like weed.

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Just love this one with its delicate seeds and turquoise sea background.

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Sea Sage has to be one of my favourites with its multi pink and yellow cluster flowers.

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Heading down Jim Hill towards the marina and Harbour Club Villas.

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How I love the Wild Passionflower vine and this one was in full bloom….. check out the little caterpillar.

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A little snail on the Sea Grape bush.

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Pretty butterfly hovers above the passion vine.

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The lovely Melochia with its’ pinkish purple flowers

A beautiful day, a wonderful photographic excursion to enjoy our local wildflowers.

Look around you as you enjoy our beautiful by nature islands.

 

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

Posted in Butterfly, Cactus, Flora and Fauna, Harbour Club Villas and Marina, Providenciales, Wild flowers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment