Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dane Tashima on Desire to Inspire

Image via desiretoinspire

Morning blog browse and who should I see featured on Desire to Inspire?  Melody singing, fun inducing, ridiculously talented great guy Dane Tashima! Turks and Caicos Productions had the pleasure of working with Dane recently on a shoot for Jockey.  Congrats Dane and beautiful interiors portfolio!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Bleach is Back

I do hate to be the bearer of bad news.  Last July I stumbled on loads of bleach bottles washed up on Longbay Beach.  I took a month long inventory which tallied over 50 bottles of bleach and notified the DECR of the findings, concerned that they were evidence of illegal lobster catching.  Now, nearly a year later, the same trend has emerged.  After the windy and unusual weather of last week, the beach has accumulated a great deal of seaweed and amongst it, litter. LOTS of litter.  Scattered within all the garbage (mainly plastic), have been these dreaded white squeeze bottles.  In two days of rubbish runs I have collected just shy of 50 bottles.  However, for one of the first times in the 8 years I have been cleaning up the coastline, I was not alone one morning with my big bag o' trash!    There in front of me was not one person, but two, with a giant trash bag between them, collecting garbage on their morning walk. I almost cried I was so ecstatic!  This nice couple who were staying at Villa Esencia and I had a chat and they too had been picking up many of these bottles and guessed that they had seen around 15 in addition to mine.  Sincerest gratitude to this couple who spent their very valuable vacation time making the Turks and Caicos a cleaner, greener place.  I have just spoken to a conservation officer at the DECR and hope that our marine police can determine the origin of these bottles and hopefully prosecute the criminals if indeed they are being used for foul purpose. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

National Heroes Day

 Image from Amin McCartney via facebook

 Today the Turks and Caicos honors it's national hero,  J.A.G.S. McCartney.  Please read more about this incredible man here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Biodiversity Day!

May 22nd marks the International Day for Biological Diversity and this years theme Marine Biodiversity is one especially relevant to the Turks and Caicos Islands.  You must read their 2012 booklet; an excellent overview on the importance of our oceans and the issues we currently face with their health and stability.  Not only is it filled with important facts, new research, and beautiful moving photographs, it concludes with a Strategic Plan of action to help alleviate the largest issues. 

 Image via andthetrees

Tim Silverwood, an Australian surfer, is doing his part as an ambassador to our oceans.  He started the Take3, A Clean Beach Initiative in 2009.  Big thanks to Lynn for sharing this video with her fellow TCI Rubbish Runners, avid supporters of  lifting litter.

Are you willing to take 3 for the sea today?

  Image via take3theblog

From 101+ Ways to Make a Difference, to Ten Simple Things You Can do To Save the Coral Reefs, learning is the #1 way which you can help!  I applaud everyone who will get out there today and read, research, or take action.  Here is a fantastic Interview with Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Operation Blue Rage, a great source of inspiration.

For further reading, please check out:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

ECGYC Environmental Clean-Up

The Edward C. Gartland Youth Centre finished their spring environmental program and celebrated by giving back to the community with a litter pick-up from the downtown area surrounding the centre.  Great job to all the kids who participated (and braved the mosquitoes who attacked us as we invaded their homes)! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kiteboarding in the Turks and Caicos

My favorite kiteboarder at northwest-point-national-park

I just stumbled on an amazing resource for kite boarders looking to ride in the Turks and Caicos.  Please see iksurfmag for a great review of what to expect and be sure to check windguru for the weekly wind and wave forecast.  Big thanks to Jacqueline d’Entremont and  Julian Hosp for visiting and sharing our incredible destination with the international kiteboarding community!

Image from sbckiteboard

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Image copyright Stacie J. Steensland

Working on a series of collages using my photographs from Turks and Caicos combined with inspirational quotes. More to come . . .

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fieldguide Fridays - Bearded Cactus

 Easily spotted "bearded" tips of the Dildo Cactus, Longbay, image by Larry Steensland

 The most common species of cactus in the Turks and Caicos Islands is locally known as Dildo Cactus, Pilosocereus Royenii.  The tubular shaped branches often display white tufts at the tops, giving it another common name, "Old Man Cactus" or "Bearded Cactus."  It is native to the Caribbean and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.  They resemble trees in that they are often seen towering above the rest of the local vegetation reaching at heights over 20 feet tall.

A now labeled beautiful specimen on the  longbay-beach-barn nature trail.  Amazing that all those branches are supported by the single stalk.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beach Barn Before and After- Headboards

I did not manage to get a wednesday+woodworks post completed yesterday but I hope to make up for it with today's before and after project.  The Long Bay Beach Barn is filled with  locally sourced, and often refinished, furnishings.  I purchased this pair of headboards at the old Salvation-Army last year for $40.  I started by painting them ivory and adding a light distress.  I then had mirror cut for the inset areas which I antiqued and set in place.  I love the way they turned out and how versatile they are; the pretty pair can be set up as a single daybed, as a matching pair of single beds, or the two singles joined together for one big shabby chic king sized headboard!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Field Guide Fridays - Poisonwood

Above and following two images below from

It has been far too long since I posted in field-guide-fridays!  I have a project at hand to create signage for the longbay-beach-barn nature trail and the decision of which sign to make first was simple. If there is only one species you should recognize and remember, this species would be it! Locally known as Poisonwood, the Metopium Toxiferum species is one you should go to great lengths to avoid in the Turks and Caicos Islands!  A member of the cashew or sumac family (Anacardiaceae), the urushiol the plant produces is a severe skin irritant.

 First sign completed!  I hope to identify and label a dozen prominent indigenous species so trail hikers and Provo Ponies horseback riders can familiarize themselves with our beautiful bush!  In the meantime, you will want to steer clear of this species after reading the below excerpt (and photo) from

"Its range in tropical America extends from Florida to the Bahamas, Honduras, and the West Indies.

The sap contains alkaloids that cause serious skin and mucus

Twigs and leaves
irritations after skin contact. Any part of the tree may carry the sap so handling any part of the poisonwood should be avoided. If you live or work in south Florida the ability to recognize and identify poisonwood is beneficial. You can find poisonwood inhabiting hammocks, pinelands, and sandy dunes near salt water.
The wood is dark brown streaked with red and is heavy and hard, but is not strong. The wood has no commercial value. The gummy sap of the bark has been used medicinally but with extreme caution. The fruit of the poisonwood is a favorite food source for the rare white-crowned pigeon. Other birds and animals also enjoy the fruit."
 Identifying Characteristics
Poisonwood is an evergreen shrub or medium tree that reaches heights of 25' to 35' or taller. It characteristically has a short trunk with stout arching limbs and drooping branches that form a spreading, rounded crown. Poisonwood is often a shrub in the pinelands and a larger tree in the hammocks.
The leaves are odd-pinnately compound, alternately arranged, 6" to 10" long, and have 3 to 7, usually 5 leaflets. Each leaflet is 3" to 4" long by 2" to 3" wide and broadest near the base or middle. The oval to elliptical leaflets have smooth, glossy, dark green upper surfaces and are paler underneath. The leaf stem is smooth or finely hairy and swollen at the base. The leaflet base is wedged, rounded, or heart-shaped and the tip is acute or rounded. In addition to its leathery appearance, the leaflet has a margin that is thickened, slightly curled, and entire. Many leaflets will be blotched with irregular spots of black resin.
The fruit is a yellow-orange drupe that is about ½" long. The fruit hangs loosely in clusters and each drupe contains one, ¼", hard, brown seed.
The reddish-brown or gray bark is thin and has dark, oily patches from the gummy sap. Older trunks have scaly bark.
Poisonwood grows near salt water on shorelines and in sandy dunes, tropical and coastal hammocks, and rockland pinelands.