February 5, 2015 · 2:48 pm
Participating in the Caribbean Telecommunications Union‘s 25th anniversary celebrations has provided an opportunity to explore parts of Trinidad (Panorama, Asa Wright Centre) and Tobago that I have not previously visited. Many people had suggested that I should go to visit the Caroni marshes to see the Scarlet Ibis (the national bird of Trindidad), and so I took time out to see them return to their roosting sites just before sunset yesterday. Although born dark in colour, the ibis’s diet of crustaceans turns them vivid scarlet as they grow older. The flocks of egrets and ibis coming in to roost is truly memorable, and I hope that the pictures below give some sense of the birds and the marshes (as well as the snakes). The boat had to moor a long way from the actual roosting sites, and its movement as well as the low light conditions made photography quite a challenge!
February 2, 2015 · 12:50 am
I was very fortunate to be invited to attend the 2015 Panorama in Port of Spain this afternoon, as a guest of iGovTT – and part of the iPOSSE. Despite the mud, it was an amazingly vibrant and energetic event – that made me feel both very old and very white! Panorama is the annual steelpan competition in Trinidad and Tobago, and for the semi-finals held in Queen’s Park Savannah in the centre of Port of Spain, there are many side events in a separate location just to the west of the main stands. Companies and organisations pitch their ‘tents’, and each have their own posses, many replete with T-shirts personalised by people cutting them into all sorts of patterns. The DJs compete with the steelpan bands, booming out the loudest possible music, and as the alcohol levels rise the dancing becomes much more explicit! I hope that the images below do justice to some of the vibrancy of the event!
January 31, 2015 · 11:11 am
I had been to the Asa Wright Centre, high in the Arima valley in Trinidad’s Northern Range, briefly once before in 2011. It was therefore great to be able to spend some time there yesterday once again, absorbing the atmosphere, and seeing some of the richness of the island’s bird life. I hope that the pictures below capture some of their beauty, although the tiny humming birds, flitting from one flower to another, are so difficult to capture with a hand-held camera! If ever you are in Trinidad, this is definitely a place to visit!
September 18, 2011 · 8:38 pm
A Saturday free (apart from those pesky e-mails) in Trinidad provided a great opportunity to get to know the island a little better (e-mails should be for offices, and people with nothing better to do!). Thanks to Clint Ross for taking Marcel and me on pot-holed roads, through torrential rain, and avoiding the snake on the way… It has to be one of the first times I have ever taken a spare day after a conference to go exploring. I must learn to do this more often. Sorry to all of those still wanting a reply to an e-mail – I’m thinking of revising my policy specifically to exclude sending e-mails at the weekend! I will have to find time to come back to the Asa Wright Nature Centre and go for long walks in the hills…
September 15, 2011 · 1:17 pm
The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation’s 2011 Forum finished this evening with a wonderful Panyard Experience in Port of Spain hosted by the Ministry of Public Utilities of Trinidad and Tobago. This told through music and dance the history of the steel band, and finished up with an extravagant celebration of Carnival, thanks to Ronnie and Caro’s beautiful 2012 ‘collection’. There was also an amazingly impressive display of limbo dancing – if only my body was 40 years younger!