Circumnavigating the Salt Pond and Aérodrome de L’Espérance

This morning I took a walk around the salt pond and nearby Grand Case Airport. Around the main pond and nearby smaller ponds, large muddy flats with some succulents and other vegetation predominate. I found a buckeye-type butterfly very common in this area, and numerous fuzzy orange caterpillars that I am guessing belong to the same species as they are neither monarch nor swallowtail caterpillars.

Also seen on this exploration were the so-called water chicken, a flock of egrets and a small bird’s nest with its entrance on the bottom. I’m guessing the nest belongs to one of the local finches that have bright yellow belies. I also saw another iguana, and like the last one it was in a tree over a marsh. A dirt road off the main road on the other side of the airport looks promising, heading up a forested hillside.

I have also noticed that despite seeing monarch caterpillars of all sizes on almost every milkweed plant I have encountered, I have yet to see a single chrysalis. Perhaps it is not quite time for that stage of life, but I would have guessed the butterflies would breed year-round in this climate. Perhaps I am just not good at spotting them.

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