Honey Bees Sipping Water

Honey Bees Sipping Water from an Antebellum Sugar Mill’s Boiling Pot

It is hard to believe that after 150 years that the pictured sugar kettle would still have any sugarcane residue on it and the bees are not just drinking rain water, but I would like to believe that there is still something left from so long ago. These bees are sipping at the lip of one of four big copper boiling pots at the Reef Bay sugar mill, which ceased operations in 1908. The sugar mill began working before the Civil War as part of a slave plantation in 1855. This mill is unique on the islands, in that it was powered by a steam engine. Most mills were powered with animal or human labor. In 2017, the hurricanes blew the mill’s roof off, before that the abandoned mill used to house Fruit bats, but now they don’t roost there anymore.

Reef Bay Sugar Mill’s Sugar Pots

Sugarcane was refined in the mill, but only up to the point. To prevent loss to theft, the sugar was only refined into a brown paste. This paste was then shipped back to Denmark, where the refining process was completed. As part of the mill, there was also a rum distillery. Rum was primarily made for local consumption. On the islands, rum drinks were significantly cheaper than other alcohol forms, even though now, both sugar and rum are imported. 

Today seems far, far away from a week ago when these photos were taken. It snowed overnight and continues to snow this morning. That’s the trouble with tropical getaways, you eventually have to come back and I think that that is harder than never having gone at all. More’s the pity for that.

Blue Poison Dart Frogs

Blue Poison Dart Frogs

We’re back in the Lou after our Nashville trip. We met Rey, Becca and Corwin twice, before jetting out of Music City. First, to witness wills and then for breakfast, at Biscuit Love and I love their biscuits and gravy. Since moving to Saint Louis, I have become a big biscuits and gravy fan and I must say that their offering was fine. Both Rey and Becca dived into the hot chicken scene, which is a Nashville thing that I’ll have to reserve until next time. About Corwin? He was quiet throughout the morning. Cute to the last. We expect great things from him.

After signing all of that paperwork, I had to ask Rey, if worst comes to worst, who gets the baby? I was relived that we were not selected. Not that we don’t love Corwin, but first, we had not been consulted and second, we are now old. We had been gladly selected for Rey and his sister Ashlan. Maybe gladly is not the right word for such an eventuality. When first informed of this decision, Rey said that Ashlan had questioned her parents’ judgement and asked, why not Aunt Jane. Well, they told her, we had their cousins, Dan and Dave. Oh boy, three boys, instead of one! Anyway, fortunately none of that ever came to pass. I’m glad that Jay and Carl are still kicking and that we didn’t have to work six people into our one small bathroom,

The drive back to Saint Louis was uneventful. We made good time and got home in time for gyro. This was our first vacation of the year. So now that’s one down and eleven to go. Yeah, really. 2020 is a happening place, with plenty of places to go, people to see and things to do.