Breeding season of seabirds starts!

Royal terns, Laughing gulls, stilts, Killdeer Plovers. All of these species are preparing for the start of the breeding season with partner rituals, mating, hatching eggs and helping the chicks on the fragile path to adulthood. Fragile and less successful every year, unfortunately, because the locations these animals need to successfully reproduce are disturbed on an ever larger scale by people, who are often unaware of the damage they cause. Damage in the form of broken eggs and defenceless chicks […] Read more »

Nature Diary: Local vitamin bombs 5: (H)Oba

Sour sweet taste, orange-yellow in color and rare in Curaçao. Most people have never seen an Oba fruit, let alone eaten it. Only the elderly among the island population and a number of people from the younger generations who like to listen to the stories and knowledge of the elderly know this tree and are able to recognize it within the landscape of our island. The Oba, or Hoba tree (Spondias mombin) is a monumental tree, which can grow to […] Read more »

Nature Diary: Local vitamin bombs 4 – the Shimaruku

No local fruit appeals to the imagination as does the illustrious Shimaruku or West Indian Cherry. If you notice cars at the side of the road in the weirdest places, about one or two weeks after some heavy rains, and people enthusiastically picking what looks like red berries, then it’s a safe bet it is Shimaruku they are after, which are either eaten on the spot or collected in cups, bags or whatever serves the purpose of taking this delicacy […] Read more »

Nature diary 9: local vitamin bombs 3: Delicious hair / Dushi kabei

Local fruits are popular and that makes sense. Many people have wonderful childhood memories of picking fruit from the tree and eating it right away. Many have grown and stayed healthy in scant years, because the local fruits growing in the gardens were an indispensable supplement to the meager diet of the children. You can hardly imagine it, but there are plenty of people among us who know what it is to go to school hungry, and who benefited immensely […] Read more »

Nature Diary 8: A short natural route

Walking is healthy. Walking in a nature area is even healthier and sometimes, while walking along the simplest of trails, you might encounter the most beautiful spots, totally unexpected, even in places you already visited for the ‘umpteenth’ time. In terms of nature, Curacao is a funny island. One moment you wonder if there still is anything alive at all, especially after a period of severe heat and drought. In such periods the vegetation looks like it is impossible to […] Read more »

Nature Diary 7: Local vitamin bombs 2

In the previous nature diary article I wrote about the tamarind and the long journey this fruit has made from Africa to end up on our Island. This time it’s the turn of the fruta di Kashupete. This tree was also an element of the gardens near Maridol, where part of the da Costa Gomez family grew up. Most of these gardens and fruit trees are now gone, but here and there you might encounter a proud tree that is […] Read more »

Nature Diary 6: Local vitamin bombs

During the almost 9 months that I write articles about nature of our small island, Curacao, lots of requests have come my way to write about local fruits of the island. A fair question, given the major role local fruits and fruit trees have played for the population throughout the ages, and the food culture which evolved and became enriched over the years. My father tells many a story about the importance of fruits for public health in general and […] Read more »

Nature Diary 5: What’s in a name?

There is always discussion about names of plants and animals. Both the ‘simply interested’ nature lovers, using common names of species during conversations and descriptions, as well as scientists, the ones dealing with nature on higher levels and therefore using scientific names, are involved in those discussions. According to the scientists, a scientific name in Latin is the same everywhere in the world, and there can be no doubt as to which species is meant. It is a fact of […] Read more »

Nature Diary 4: If you don’t value small things….

During our wanderings about the island in both residential and natural areas we always find something fun to photograph, to film or to write an article about. The latest addition to our camera kit gives us the opportunity to put those little things you generally tend to overlook or even trample, in the spotlights. Only when these members of the local flora and fauna become better visible by means of macro shots, you’ll realize how enormously diverse the natural environment […] Read more »

Nature Diary 3: cold-blooded ceiling sticker

The lamps on our porch are inhabited for years already by a family of reptiles which usually show themselves to the outside world only at night. The little lizards are no more than 12 cm long, including the tail, and look quite special. Once they emerge from their dwelling at night it is remarkable to note that the animals appear almost transparent. These small geckos, locally known as ‘pega pega’s’, choose the most unlikely places to house themselves in. And […] Read more »