Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Birdwatching with Meno


This morning we went on a bird walk with Meno, who leads many tours. We walked on the grounds of Anse Mamin, the old plantation where once slaves grew sugar cane and boiled it down into molasses. Mamin, the owner, was a particularly brutal slave owner. The old buildings are still in place or partly so. Above, a surviving staircase seems to go nowhere, though some workmen were using it while drinking an early morning Coca Cola.

Here's Meno looking for birds. He is also very good at calling them out of the woods. We saw quite a few nice ones.


Meno told us about a recent tragedy, which other St.Lucians have also mentioned. The stream that runs through the old plantation is small and tame now, but at the end of October, a hurricane brought 24 hours of heavy rain to St.Lucia, and the stream became a torrent, unleashing a disastrous mud slide. Meno's good friends -- a couple and their children -- were swept away along with their house. The mud slide left a huge mud deposit in the reservoir above the plantation. Meno kept saying to the river "Where are they?" His friends were either buried or swept out to sea, and can't be found.

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