Category Archives: Environment

One Saturday in the Blue Mountains/ Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Matthew 6:28-29)

Wishing you a fresh, uninhibited Saturday from Island Vignettes, Jamaica.

I took this photo during a Saturday hike into the Jamaica Blue Mountains.

Daisy in Cinchona Gardens, Blue Mountains - Jamaica
Daisy in Cinchona Gardens, Blue Mountains – Jamaica


Read More…

  1. Memories of Jamaica Blue Mountains:
  2. Forest Trek 2012:
  3. Finding Perspective:


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” — Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Many of us are preparing for and dreading the arrival of Monday. I hope to help ease the transition. Green is a colour associated with renewal, self-control and harmony. This rich colour can help alleviate depression and anxiety while relaxing us mentally and physically. In tonight’s post, I offer you a glimpse of my encounters with this special colour. I wish you a green week!

While you enjoy the ride, I’ll pop off to mix myself up a batch of corn muffins! Maybe I’ll pop something green on top:)

A relaxing afternoon at Doctor’s Cave Beach, St. James
Tangerines mocking me from the tree. Taken at River’s Edge, St. Mary.
This proud Jamaican displays his merchandise. Taken at Cross Roads, Kingston
Sunday afternoon in the Blue Mountains. Can you see the houses dotting the hillside? Look again!
Can you guess where I met these vintage set of wheels? You get one guess!
After all our travels, lets have sips and light conversation in my friend’s garden. She won’t mind!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Today is a day of renewal for me. Today is the day I allow my mind and body to drift deliciously from slumber to wakefulness. I allow my ears to appreciate the symphony of birdsong outside the window panes. Today there is no urgency in my step. I have captured time and made it my slave. For today only. A fresh cup of tea is fully savoured.

It is Saturday. Today I get to unwind and push sad statistics and stories to the furthest recesses of my mind. Working in Development can take an emotional toll on the mind and body. All the more reason to appreciate an opportunity for renewal.

Early morning in Hope Gardens, Jamaica

The Place

The place is Hope Gardens, Jamaica. Started as an experimental garden in 1881, transformed into a lush, manicured oasis complete with all manner of exotic plants, Hope Gardens has been through times of neglect and care. I was fortunate to capture this moment at approximately 6:30am.

I was lost in a dream made up of soft, green carpet and blue cotton candy sky. Floral closets and palm fronds cast long shadows across the grass in the morning light and a slight breeze skipped playfully through the foliage.

I inhale. Then I exhale. For now, that is enough.

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Finding perspective…

Today is a time of reflection and finding balance. We’ve journeyed through the global financial crisis, life in the inner city and violence against children. The stage – the Caribbean. Today I offer you a peek at some gems I discovered as I searched for perspective in nooks and crannies all over this island. A simple reminder of the things we work to protect. Do enjoy.

A beautiful flower in Cinchona Gardens

Refreshing air at Hollywell Park.
The allure of the Blue Mountains
Lilies at Cinchona Gardens
An idyllic afternoon in TrenchTown
Sunset in Trelawny
Old Mill house at Clydesdale Estate
Pigeons at the Park

Mystery creature in my apartment!

After an exciting few days of hiding from the “mystery” creature in my apartment, jumping on chairs and running from the unknown, I finally came face to face with the hideous monster last night! It was…are you ready?…A MOUSE! Before you start laughing at me, take in this article written in last Sunday’s Jamaica Gleaner (May 13th) “Sunday Sauce: Rats hit Back”. It is an excellent satire that manages to touch on some serious socio-political issues in Jamaica while addressing a burgeoning sanitation issue in the Kingston/St. Andrew parish. Unfortunately, a problem that is slowly making its way through my front door.

As a quick guide, the “clueless orange and green men & women” mentioned refer to affiliates of the two main political parties – I surmise! According to the “Rat Association” they’re too smart for the Pied Piper now, so that remedy won’t work this time. As for me don’t worry, I am armed to the hilt with broomstick & insect repellant in case the creature dares to drop in tonight! Happy reading!


Sunday Sauce: Rats hit back! – Arts & Leisure – Jamaica Gleaner – Sunday | May 13, 2012.

Forest Trek 2012 – 5000ft above sea level!

Today April 22nd is designated International Mother Earth Day. Earth Day has been celebrated annually since 1969 and is usually observed by events designed to increase awareness of the earth’s natural environment. Throughout the world thousands of persons volunteer their time, energy and efforts to projects such as tree planting and beach cleanups to name a few. The observance however is not without its critics, who see it as only another opportunity to celebrate the marginalisation of environmental issues in the world agenda and for businesses to promote “green” products, without necessarily caring about the real impact of our individual actions on nature.

For approximately 500 persons in Jamaica, it was an opportunity to participate in Forest Trek 2012, organised by the Forestry Department. I was one of the 500, along with eight other friends who chose to rise out of bed by 5:00am, stretch, load up and embark on a 7km journey into the Blue Mountains with the aim of planting a tree in the rare, high elevation botanic garden, located some 4800-5200 ft above sea level – Cinchona Gardens. It is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean. Having done this walk some 14 years ago, I could not help feeling nostalgic as I retraced my footsteps.

The day was perfect for such an endeavour and allowed for clear, panoramic views of steep plunging mountainsides dotted with homes, vegetable gardens and grazing animals in some of the most unlikely places. Some perched at seemingly precarious angles into the mountainside or almost hidden in the deep valleys – all a testament to human skill in building. Pine trees soared to heights of 30 metres and more, rivers and streams sounded their voice from hidden locations, birds called to us from their perches and exotic flowers greeted us along the pathways. An easy camaraderie and chatter amongst us would often wane as we were overcome by the beauty of it all. Passing through Clydesdale Estate – one of the first to plant coffee commercially in Jamaica – allowed for a few quick photos of the old water wheel and coffee mill. The Estate is over 200 years old and is now the largest forest reserve in Jamaica. Few words can descibe the beauty of Cinchona Gardens, with its soft grass, thousands of flowers, hidden pathways & trails and plunging views. My vocabulary is unable to do it justice. Hopefully my photos will.

I felt such a sense of accomplishment after digging a hole and placing my tree in its new home. A small action on my part, but one which I know will be of immense benefit in the future.  A special thank you to those who shared this journey with me – Irina, Delphine, Shalini, Denton, Wendy, Erin, Marije & Daan. Happy Earth Day. Enjoy the photos.