Over the past few days, a Beaconite has noticed some interesting birds in the territory. At the Farmers and Fishers Fair, a peacock showed off his colourful plumage. Over the weekend, members of the Facebook group BVI Birds and Wildlife posted pictures of a scarlet ibis and a red-tailed hawk. In the community where this reporter lives, she noticed a baby heron wandering the property. And then there are the dozens of flamingoes in Josiahs Bay.
There are very few places that are insulated from the ear-piercing and incessant calls of the territory’s legendary chickens. Most residents eventually get used to them. However, for the past year, a Beaconite has lived in a house secluded and high enough in the hills that they didn’t disturb her. Now she’s moved further down the mountain, and she has to get used to them all over again. Having experienced life without them, she can assert that it is much more difficult this time while she is working from home. All day she looks forward to that time around 7 p.m. when the sun has set, her avian neighbours finally pipe down, and blissful silence sets in. Then she drifts off to sleep dreaming about a big pot of chicken stew.
In recent months, a Beaconite has spent much of his journalistic focus on an exhaustive investigative article that took six months to finish and on the territory’s ongoing drug and gun crimes, which show no signs of abating. It was thus quite a reprieve to drive over to Nanny Cay on Saturday afternoon and point his camera at a bunch of cute dogs walking in circles inside a pen. The dog show, which because of Covid-19 replaced gaming night as the Humane Society of the BVI’s biggest fundraiser of the year, was a great reminder of how nice it can be to cover stories on the fluffier side (pun definitely intended). Besides watching the dogs compete for waggiest tail and lowest-lowrider awards, the Beaconite enjoyed meandering around Captain Mulligan’s and looking at the smiles of children getting their faces painted — and the smiles of pups being fed pizza by their owners.
One of the most memorable stories a Beaconite covered last year reported the mangrove habitat restoration efforts under way on Jost Van Dyke, and she was glad to learn that the territory has passed its goal of planting 1,000 of the trees throughout the territory. She remembers the delight she felt at witnessing the work of experts and volunteers who were passionate about protecting the future of these ecologically significant groves. This was before the territory-wide lockdown, back when murmurs about Covid-19 reaching the territory were just beginning to circulate. The Beaconite commends the community members who have continued to push forward with these habitat restoration efforts despite last year’s challenges. Mangroves offer invaluable protection to baby animals living in their intricate root systems, and the health of those species affects the well-being of the entire aquatic ecosystem. This benefits the VI by strengthening the territory’s fish stocks and in turn benefits anyone whose life is touched by tourism, even indirectly — in other words, everyone. Cheers to the environmental champions who, in the Beaconite’s experience, often shy away from the limelight.