Friday, July 31, 2015

Money Bats


This large moth is called a Money Bat. They are nocturnal, like most moths and because it is large, with a seven inch wingspan, and brown, it has been confused with a bat. We encountered them in Exuma one evening at dinner. The open restaurant had them flitting around all over the place. One flew into the ceiling fan and was flung in our direction, hitting the wall and laying stunned for a bit. Then it flew off. 

The one I photographed is a male. The females have a white, almost iridescent, stripe on their open wings.

I read that these moths migrate to Canada in June. Some that were tagged left Mexico and were in Maine nine days later, others were in Manitoba, shortly after that. Those big wings make them able to cover a lot of ground quickly.

These moths are native to the islands and it is said that you will come into money if one lands on you. I'm still waiting.

However, the ancient Aztecs and Mayans called the same moth the Butterfly of Death (mariposa de la muerte) and the Death Witch is its other name in Central America. It is said that if the moth enters your door, there will be a death. Two members of our party had brought the ashes of loved ones to spread on Exuma. So I prefer to think of these moths as angels, come to lead the loved ones home. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Would You, Could You?

Our son sent us these pictures of this California van with the wonderful murals of Dr. Seuss characters. 


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Something Fishy in Miami Airport

There are multiple walls in the corridors of the Miami International Airport that have cool fish designs. Here is a sampling.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Some Fun Places We Got to Eat

Exuma has some lovely inns and restaurants and we enjoyed eating in a few.
This is where we stopped for dinner on the way back from the beach. It was a spa resort with a restaurant. Because summer is definitely the off season, we pretty much had it to ourselves. This is the upstairs great room/lounge.

Here is the view over the railing.

We had lunch the next day at this little cafe on the water. 

Inside was decorated in a fun way. Instead of bar stools, there were swings. The wraps were yummy.

This was our restaurant view. A rainstorm was coming and indeed it rained hard for quite a while in the afternoon.

The water was clear and shallow and there were kayaks for rent on the beach. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Tropic of Cancer Beach

So here is our beach.

The pinkish dotted line shows the Tropic of Cancer. Looking carefully you will be able to see the line goes through the lower end of Great Exuma. That is where we were.

Part of the Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here on this beach. The rail that can be seen on the left of the picture above was built by the film crew to assist in getting down to the beach.

We swam right out there. The water was so clear. I had taken snorkel gear and a couple of floats but it was so windy, that it was not the right condition for either activity. The high salinity was also quite noticeable. B and I wondered if that might account for the lack of shells and fish. The only animal life we saw was a large stingray, patrolling just offshore as we walked down the beach.

It was one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen--and we had it to ourselves. There was a group of college age kids leaving as we arrived. There was only one other man there and he also left ahead of us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Out to the Beach

After a very long business meeting, we all jumped in the car and headed for the beach. It was over half an hour to get there on rough roads---but so  beautiful. Here are some shots I took out the window.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Some Scenes from Exuma

Exuma is about 60 miles long and has many additional islands, called cays, pronounced "keys". We flew into and stayed in the village of Georgetown. The airport is comprised of two small, concrete block buildings. It is the Exuma International Airport.

I was drawn to a mural inside, made by local students that is created entirely of plastic bottle caps.

From our inn, we walked to the open straw market, where we saw women weaving strips of dry palm branches into hats, baskets and purses.  They also sold other tourist items, such as beach towels and post cards. Nothing is priced and all prices are negotiable. There were a handful of little shops. This open door led to a pedicure shop.

The shop below was an interesting combination: hair salon and fish market.

 These cars were in line to buy gas at the only gas station in the area. 

It was pricy. It is pumped for you and you are expected to tip the man. They are not open on Sunday.

Cars have the steering wheel on the right and are driven on the left side of the road--a carryover from the British occupancy. The roundabouts are the most disconcerting! Roads are not well-maintained, so the ride is rough.

 Here are a couple more views of the harbor.

 From our inn, B and I saw this container ship come into the harbor. We watched as the containers were unloaded and reloaded onto trucks, and heard them as they drove up the road by the inn.

 Across from our inn was a lovely church. On Sunday morning, we enjoyed the pleasant sound of the bells ringing from the tower.