Bell Point Exploration

This morning I headed up Goat Mountain (its vastly inferior actual name being First Stick Hill) and walked along the ridge to Bell Hill, continuing out to Bell Point. I returned on the hillside near the sea then climbed what I now call The Valley of Stones to return to Grand Case.

For much of my walk it was cloudy and rainy, so the going was rather difficult. I was also forced to hop several fences en route and traverse a considerable amount of steep, densely forested land. The area seemed very much like jungle, but probably this was mostly because of the rain. Near Bell Point I finally reached an area of grassy scrubland which was much easier to travel and the sun came out. Towards the end of my walk, there was an odd area with many hanging vines at the foot of the Valley of Stones. The Valley was quite odd as well, being comprised of many large boulders on a steep slope.

During the course of my walk I saw many things, some of which I will now list:

  • A colorful fly on a piece of lizard poop.
  • Many white larvae of some sort that seemed to be tended by ants.
  • A mating pair of Great Southern Whites (Ascia monuste). Incidentally, I have found online a great resource for the Lepidoptera of the French Antilles by which I can identify most of the species I have seen.
  • A strange plant with bright orange thorns.
  • A wide variety of spiders of many shapes and colors.
  • Two goats with their heads stuck in the fence. Their horns seem to make it difficult for them to pull their head back between the wire grid. The first was terrified by my approach, but I was able to grab its horns and guide its head back through the fence, at which point it bounded away as fast as it could. The second I had planned to free on my return, but I did not end up returning by in the same direction. Shortly past the second, I found a pile of goat bones right at the fence. I would guess that in most cases the goats are eventually able to free themselves, otherwise there would be very few living goats. Perhaps I can go back tomorrow and see if he is still stuck. I feel some remorse over leaving him.
  • An arboreal plant that was quite common in the forested ridge, living on many different species of tree.
  • A Mimic (Hypolimnas misippus), of which I did not get particularly good photographs. According to the French Antilles Lepidoptera site, “This species comes from the Old World, where females are mimics of the African Monarch, Danaus chrysippus (Linnaeus). It may have been introduced via the slave trade, H. misippus is probably not a permanent resident in all islands where it has been observed.”
  • What seemed to be a very small, blue dragonfly about 1/2″ long. I was not able to get a good photo.
  • A very cute pair of goat kids sheltering in some rocks at the top of Bell Hill.
  • A great number of a caterpillar that I had not previously seen, and a pupa that had been parasitized by wasps.
  • A brown cricket hiding in a dried leaf that may have been used to conceal a chrysalis.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable excursion, although I returned home exceedingly thirsty, having drained my water bottle some time earlier. Photos below.

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