Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Parrots of Dominica

Image hosting by PhotobucketIsn't it a beaut? This is the national bird of Dominica. Its scientific name is Imperial Amazon. It is found only in Dominica and local name is Sisserou, the Carib word for parrot.

The Sisserou parrots on Dominica all but disappeared after the passage of Hurricane David in 1979. Scientists believed that only about 50 of them remained on the island after the destructive storm. As such Dominican Forestry and Wildlife officials had to wait until 2000 to get a glimpse of the huge parrot in its stumping ground, the Morne Diablotin National Park.

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe Sisserou parrot resides mainly in the thick rain forest reserve situated at the foot of Dominica's highest peak [4,747 ft, Morne Diablotin]. The parrot shares the lower elevation of its home with the other equally popular Jacko Parrot. The Jacko Parrot or the Amazona Arausiaca is smaller than the Sisserou and is also endemic to Dominica.

Image hosting by PhotobucketDominica is lucky in that these two parrots of the Amazon species have survived to this day. Parrots almost identical to the Sisserou, on Martinique and Guadeloupe, were made extinct in the 1800s. The size of the Sisserou prevents it from flying long distances. It is said that fly like a duck. The Parrots survival therefore requires that their natural habitat, the rain forest of tall trees, is maintained. [Shamefully this is something Dominican leadership seem to ignore; considering that is, the developmental activities they promote.]

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe Jacko Parrot derives its name from the Jacko Flats, the area where it was first observed. Jacko Flats is an old maroon camp named after the famous runaway African slave and camp leader Jacko; who escaped into the rain forest soon after his arrival from Africa in the 1760s. Jacko, the aging rebel maroon, was killed some forty years later at Jacko Flats. So two beautiful and resilient parrots get the honour of bearing names associated with powerful and courageous people.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Of Q-Tip and Wutliss Luv

Image hosting by PhotobucketWutliss luv I define as what ordinary women do when they fall in luv with some star or personality who they will never meet or know. Like how some women just luvs them a Denzel Washington while others luv them some Will Smith or Morris Chestnut. For me it is the nondescript Q-tip of the Tribe Called Quest. Yes Q-tip!

Most people who read this would wonder “why?” I don't know either but there is something about this man that my spirit just loves....From the first time I saw him in Tribe, I was hooked. He is not remarkable physically or as a rapper. Never dresses up as Kanye West does... he certainly does not bling like most of the brothers in the entertainment business....does not seem to make much money and certainly does not appear to squander whatever he makes like most of these ‘never-see-come-see’ fools either.

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe strangest thing about me and Q is that I don't follow his career and I know none of his songs off-hand. I can re-call the chorus of Bonita AppleBum with Tribe but that is about all. I don't know Q's real name, his biography nor do I have any of his or Tribe Called Quest albums...I have seen him in Disappearing Acts and Prison Song and that is it. I absolutely loved him in Prison Song though. I would say I am not a groupie at all but whenever I see him on the screen or hear his voice I stop and come back to listen or me that man is just beautiful.

Q-tip my wutliss luv, I luvs yuh some baby!