Sunday, 27 December 2015

Park It! (Part One)

Water on fan palm

One of the places I went to the last time I visited Nassau was The Retreat, a national park as well as being the headquarters of the Bahamas National Trust, which runs their national park system. The main attraction of The Retreat is the huge collection of palms from around the world, gathered by Arthur and Margaret Langlois, who owned the park when it was a private landholding.

Chenille plant

(And they have lots of other tropical plants as well, including this Chenille plant Acalypha hispida: while it isn't a Bahamian native -- it's from Oceania, in fact -- I think it's pretty cool, and is a member of the Euphorbidae family, which also includes the crown-of-thorns and pointsettias.)

Zombie palm

But the palms (hundreds of different ones!) are the real attraction here, with some species like this Zombie palm Zombia antillavum (above), which is endemic to Hispaniola, although more in Haiti than the Dominican Republic, from the Americas, but also the Red Sealing Wax palm Cyrtostachys renda (below), also known as the Lipstick palm, native to Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.

Red Sealing Wax Palm

There are lots of cool pathways to take at The Retreat, one of which passes by the original well that fed the main house: it's not in use now, and has the most interesting well cover: given it's probably 3 meters across, I tried to think up a way to rig up my camera to take a shot from overhead, while I pretended to be caught in the spider web.

But my tripod just didn't cut it. Next time, I'll have to find a small drone, I guess.


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