Fort Ashby, Nevis, West Indies, an Earth Day Clean-up and Nature Survey

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NOTE: Many of the IDs in this journal post will need to be refined and corrected.

On Earth Day I recorded 80 species of organisms at Fort Ashby, near the coast in the Cotton Ground region of Nevis. You can consult the following link to a calendar page to have a visual sense of what I was able to see. All but the first two and last four images were taken at or from Fort Ashby:
https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/susanhewitt/2022/4/22
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Fort Ashby is a piece of land surrounding a coastal fort on the Caribbean Coast of Nevis. The fort was built in 1701 on a coastal point, near what was, in the 1600s, the original capital of Nevis, Jamestown. The fort was a simple stone structure, much of which remains intact. The design is semi-circular, and the outer wall, which faces towards the sea, still features four cannon.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426636

But due to slow coastal build up of sand in this one part of the coast, the fort is now 100 yards back from the edge of the sea. There is also now a lagoon pond that reaches from one side of the piece of land to the other side -- Fort Ashby has private property on both sides of it. The lagoon at Fort Ashby was, until recently, crossed by a wooden bridge, but that has now disintegrated, so currently there is no way to access the beach directly from Fort Ashby.

At some point in recent times, one of the walls of the fort was extended upwards with concrete, and the entire structure was given a mostly open-air roof, in order to convert it into a bar-restaurant. Then subsequently, when the lease expired, the restaurant was abandoned, along with three small residences nearby, and at least one other small building.

After the restaurant closed, the entire area of Fort Ashby was not maintained, and it had recently become extremely overgrown with vegetation. The area was also occasionally misused for illegal dumping.

The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) is now in the process of reclaiming the site and improving it, so that it can become a natural, historical, and educational attraction for both locals and tourists.

A Nevis friend of mine, Miriam Knorr of NHCS, asked me if I would volunteer at Fort Ashby on Earth Day. Although the rest of the NHCS team were doing much-needed physical clean-up of the site, Miriam asked me if I would use iNaturalist to record and photograph the nature of the area. I spent nearly four hours there in the morning, making 160 nature observations of what appear to be 80 species. The other NHCS volunteers collected and carried out abandoned trash (two entire truckloads) and cut down a vast amount of invasive vegetation, which will be burned. There were six Nevis Historical and Conservation volunteers, 10 youth-group volunteers, Jahnel Nisbet who is the director of NHCS, and myself, for a total of 18 volunteers.

More trash will need to be removed.

My iNat lists and photos will eventually be used to create such things as a leaflet and signage, once the Fort Ashby site is fully restored and ready for visitors.
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PLANTS..................................................................................
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GARDEN PLANTS, brought in and planted deliberately by humans (7 species recorded)

African Baobab
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421846
Bougainvillea
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426973
Common Lantana
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422759
Glory-bower, Red Bleeding Heart Vine
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424461
Crinum -- Swamp Lilies
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421983
Fan Palms, Coryphoideae
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422137
Mother-in-law's Tongue
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424855
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WILD PLANTS
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All from the Scrubland area:

WILD TREES AND BUSHES (8 species recorded)

White Leadtree
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423499
Sea Almond
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426863
and
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422397
Indian Mango
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422423
Neem
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423380
Noni (seedling inside the fort)
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426242
Clammy Cherry
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421583
Shrubby Indigo
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421626
Sandbox Tree
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424955
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SOFT PLANTS WILD -- includes wildflowers and weeds (27 species recorded)

Coral Bells aka Coralita
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423484
Bush Morning Glory
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426991
Painted Spurge
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426919
Genus Lagascea
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423077
Asthma Plant
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423270
Tridax Daisy
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423537
Castor Bean
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424772
Blue Porterweed
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422628
Gale of the Wind
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421238
Porknut thorn bush
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421292
Whitemouth Dayflower
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421321
Browne's Blechum
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421344
Common Fanpetals
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421381
Lion's Ear
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421417
Brazilian Bachelor's Button
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422603
Scorpion's-Tail
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422861
Caesar Weed
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422910
Erect Spiderling
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423037
LIttle Ironweed
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423064
Lobed Croton
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423136
Asian Spiderflower
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423162
Legumes
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423307
Pyramid Flower
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423554
Graceful Spurge
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424090
Amaranths
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424167
Sacramento Bur
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424330
Common Fan petals
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112427305
Devils Horsewhip
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423740
and
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112427209
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Species found on or inside of, the Fort structure itself (8 species recorded)
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Bitter Panicgrass
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426526
Brown's Sword Fern
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426411
Dicot Tree, ID unknown
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426321
Small Dicot Tree with some red leaves, ID unknown
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426284
Noni seedling
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426242
Siam Weed, Chromolaena odorata
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426218
Cure-For-All
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426188
Spiny Fiddlewood
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426599
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Monarch Fern
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421927

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Plants growing near the lagoon pond (3 species recorded)

Nickernut
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112425732
Tree of Little Stars
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112425732
Beach Naupaka
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112425943
and
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426067

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FUNGI AND LICHENS (4 species recorded)
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Teloschistaceae
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426733
Common Lichens
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426481
and
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421786
Shelf Fungi
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112425249
Agaricomycetes
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112427047

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ANIMALS OF EVERY KIND........................................................
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MAMMALS, REPTILES, BIRDS (Only three species recorded so far)

Domestic Cow -- a cow pat left behind
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426086
Schwartz' Anole
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426764

Green Heron -- no photo possible, but the bird was both seen and heard.
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INVERTEBRATE ANIMALS
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INSECTS
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Butterflies (5 species recorded)

Cloudless Sulphur
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112427165
Cramer's Scrub-Hairstreak
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112427111
Tropical Checkered Skipper
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423405
White Peacock
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423576
Cassius Blue
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424820

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Other insects (9 species recorded)
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Band-winged Dragonlet, a dragonfly
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112423685
Rambur's Forktail , a damselfly
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424036
Longhorn Crazy Ant
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112421707
Liriomyza a leafminer fly mining in a Bougainvillea leaf
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112427017
Cherrypie Leafminer in the Common Lantana leaves
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422791
A leafminer in Nodeweed leaves
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424358
A Phytomyzinae leafminer in leaves of Sacramento Bur
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424632
Pit-trapping Ant-Lions
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426636
Australian Cockroach
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112425405
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Bees and wasps (2 species recorded)
Western Honey Bee
Common on the Coralita
Stictia signata a species of sand wasp
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112427262
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Beetles (1 species recorded)
Beetle larva burrows in dead wood
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426687
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Other arthropods (4 species recorded)
Blue Land Crab
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112422335
and
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426838
Spinybacked Orbweaver
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112424411
Gall and Rust Mites
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426439
Eriophyes pluchea mites on leaves of Cure-for-all
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426041
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Humans

Carrying an abandoned Fridge out of the woodland took 6 people.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112425319

Metal debris to be removed
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112425358

An abandoned wheel
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112425405

One of the houses
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112426863

An abandoned door hanging (valance) from India
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112849690

Posted by susanhewitt susanhewitt, April 23, 2022 11:28

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Cure-For-All (Pluchea carolinensis)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:25 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Noni (Morinda citrifolia)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:26 AM AST

Description

Inside the fort.

Photos / Sounds

What

Brown's Sword Fern (Nephrolepis brownii)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:27 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Gall and Rust Mites (Family Eriophyidae)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:27 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Bitter Panicgrass (Panicum amarum)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:28 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Pit-trapping Antlions (Tribe Myrmeleontini)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:29 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Human (Homo sapiens)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:30 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Beetles (Order Coleoptera)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:31 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:33 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Schwartz' Anole (Anolis schwartzi)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:39 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Schwartz' Anole (Anolis schwartzi)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:39 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Painted Spurge (Euphorbia heterophylla)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:49 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Bougainvilleas (Genus Bougainvillea)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:52 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Morning-Glories (Genus Ipomoea)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 10:52 AM AST

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellows and Sulphurs (Subfamily Coliadinae)

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 11:03 AM AST

Description

Holding very gently.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

April 22, 2022 11:04 AM AST

Description

Swept through vegetation trying to catch a Blue Butterfly and caught this rather beautiful wasp instead.

Taken home, chilled until torpid, photographed and then allowed to warm up and released.

Comments

Excellent, Susan. Congrats.

Posted by jannvendetti 2 months ago (Flag)

Wow Jann, I am so glad you came across this post and read it. I certainly had a good time that day. In a bag of trash thrown out when people were cleaning out one of the abandoned little houses there, I rescued an old embroidered Toran, an Indian door valance. I now photographed that and added it just for fun.

Posted by susanhewitt 2 months ago (Flag)

Susan, it was lovely to meet you and thanks so much for your excellent work. A wonderful contribution to our Earth Day effort. We look forward to your ongoing professional assistance with our project.

Posted by byronmountford 2 months ago (Flag)

Thank you Byron! I am certainly willing to help long-distance once I am back in NYC.

Posted by susanhewitt 2 months ago (Flag)

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