Birds & Gardens

28 Jun

BLUE MOUNTAIN WEEKENDS, Birds, Hiking, Coffee & Flowers

Jamaica is among the best island destinations in the world for birding. 307 birds have been recorded, including 127 breeding species and 180 migrants. 28 species are endemic, more than any other West Indian island. Fortunately for birders, most of Jamaica’s endemics can be found, in just a few days in the very cool and very beautiful Blue Mountains!

30 Apr

Sweet Living at Good Hope

Early morning, if you wake, it is noticeably quiet, the sky has settled, the moon is visible, through the breadfruit, in all its phases, from my bedroom window. But because of the quiet, if not a single bird is tweeting, I know it’s far too early to get out of bed. I turn over and listen peacefully to silence.

18 Apr

June 2015 - JAMAICA BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE & CULINARY WEEKEND

Join us in Jamaica’s exquisite Blue Mountains where the truest, world renowned, Blue Mountain Coffee beans are grown. Like France’s ‘Appellation D’Origine Contrôlée Champagne’, which strictly controls where authentic Champagne grapes may be grown, the area where Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee plants are cultivated, is also strictly controlled.

28 Jan

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, a Dazzling Day with Round-trip Flight from Montego Bay!

There is a mystic to Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, a majesty of landscape; a richness of green; rolling mist; clean cool breeze; quiet with bird song, flowers, gardens and of course there’s the coffee! World renowned, Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee is scarce. The island’s esteemed brand, represents roughly 5/100% of the world’s annual coffee production; and of that, 80% has been pre-sold to Japan, leaving a piddling amount of true Blue Mountain Coffee for us in the West, to find and enjoy.

20 Aug

Cinchona Botanic Garden in Jamaica's Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are full of sensational stories as well as stunning scenery, but it’s the quiet you’ll savour – pure audible peace. And if there is a cool spot anywhere on the island right now – mid August 2014, it’s Jamaica’s Blue Mountains.

03 Jul

Birds Sing Sweetly for Paddy Cunningham Birding Adventurers

This tour was a wild card and I was looking forward to playing it. The Birding Tour Operator I worked with did not know me and I did not know her. We met by me making a cold call to Paddy Cunningham Birding Adventures, based in Miami – asking Paddy if she might be interested in following on the heels of a terrific New York City Audubon trip I’d just produced. Paddy, bless her, took a leap and successfully gathered 7 wonderful birdwatchers, from random places in the United States, many of whom had traveled with her before.

24 May

Cunha Cunha Pass - Hiking Blue Mountains, with Family & Friends

It was Tammy’s birthday, and she wanted to be hiking in the Blue Mountains, with Family and close Friends. We were a group of Jamaicans, and none of us had ever hiked the Cunha Cunha Pass, a 5.5 mile mountain trail, which was first used by the Windward Maroons, (Taino and Africans who ran away to the mountains rather than stay as slaves).

29 Apr

Jamaica's Blue Mountains with Intrepid Victorian Traveler & Botanic Artist Marianne North as Mentor

“There was a small valley at the back of the house which was a marvel of loveliness, bananas, daturas, and great Caladium esculentum bordering the stream, with the Ipomoea bona nox, passion-flower, and Tacsonia thunbergii over all the trees, giant fern-fronds as high as myself, and quantities of smaller ferns with young pink and copper-coloured leaves, as well as the gold and silver varieties.”

26 Mar

Birds Sing Sweetly at Shaw Park Garden, Ocho Rios

My quest, this spring morning, was to find a bird-watching guide, at Shaw Park, a relic of an old public garden, in the seaside resort town of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I was given the tip on the bird guide, named Percy, by a waiter at the elegant Jamaica Inn, where my clients, who are elderly, a stately English couple, with bird-watching aspirations, are staying on their annual winter sojourn to the colony. Shaw Park is featured in all Jamaica guidebooks, for expansive views, natural waterfalls and some spectacular Banyan trees.

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