Viva La Cuba: Critters!

Cuba seems so long ago and just a memory. Before all the stories fade I have one more fun one to share. We went to Cuba to relax. We had been before so we didn’t plan on doing the tourist trips; the beach and pool would be enough. I thought I would take a few photos and test out the new camera, but how many shots of the beach or palm trees did I need? Soon after we arrived I spotted the bright blue/green lizard and it was my mission to get a photo. They were elusive and camera-shy. We didn’t see them often and if you did they were gone before the camera was turned on. I managed to grab a few shots, but this had to be the most interesting 😉

Privacy Please!

One day by the pool John said what is this and bent down to see this teeny little critter, a lizard. It was pretty brave as it jumped right in his hand! John has spent a lot of  time trying to catch lizards and they usually dash away before they are caught. This one was the exception as it ran up his arm and across his shoulders. Within minutes it was on top of his head, the perfect perch on John’s hat. I just had time to snap this picture before it jumped onto me and my camera. I of course yelped and it fell into the grass. John found it again and held onto it for a while to show a few people. A few days later we were laying by the pool when something was crawling on John. He jumped up and brushed it away fearing it was a bee. Here it was another little lizard! What are the odds? This one was more of a brown colour. It crawled up John’s leg as I laughed hysterically. It gripped his leg hairs and used them as a climbing apparatus. After snapping a few pictures we let it go in the grass.

On John’s Hat

Now that is small!










The resort was large and there were about 5 cats that claimed different areas. Despite the “Do Not Feed the Animals” people fed them. This little kitten hung out near our building and would come when I called him. I named him Poquito, or small in Spanish. He was very friendly and would follow me until I left his area. Even when other people would call him he would stick with me, or run over to check things out and then quickly return. Sometimes he would even come up the stairs and wait for us outside of our room. After losing Holly a few months before I was happy to adopt this little guy, even if it was only for a few weeks.

Each morning this gentleman was out at the pool with a long pole and small net. He was always wet up to the waist or chest. I thought he was just cleaning the pool before most guests arrived. One morning we happened to be close enough and John noticed him fishing something out of the pool… crabs! The crabs would come out at night and fall in, or purposely, go into the pool. This fellow would fish them out each day.

Beware of Crabs!

There were a variety of birds and we would hear their beautiful songs early each morning. They kept hidden high in the palms or in the under brush along side of the beach. With the zoom on my camera I happened to catch a shot of this one.

The most colourful and interesting  had to be these caterpillars. We found one on the edge of the pool one day and John rescued it before it went into the deep water. When we brought it off to the side we noticed this tree that was covered in them! There had to be maybe a hundred or more. The caterpillars were about the diameter of my thumb and longer than my index finger! They ate at a rapid speed and in a few minutes you could see it devour a large section of leaf. Within the two weeks this little heard of critters thinned the foliage down and soon I am sure the tree would be bare. The caterpillar’s colours were vibrant and it was fascinating to watch them up close.

Colourful Caterpillar


Look Closely. How Many Caterpillars do you See?











Last week Island Traveller’s Photo Challenge was about Everyday Life. Taking time to enjoy life, but also enjoy the small details. Having the time to notice the unusual and watch the little things became a fun past time during this vacation. From this I learned this lesson:  to remember to sometimes change focus and look closely to what is right in front of you instead of just the big picture. As the saying goes sometimes we need to take time to smell the roses.

Cuba was an amazing adventure with time to relax, get up close to enjoy the finer details and have the opportunity of a life time. This is the end of my posts on Cuba, but the memories will last forever.

What did you notice today?

Stay tuned for more….



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16 thoughts on “Viva La Cuba: Critters!

  1. Freda Goulet

    Diana, Very interesting pictures of Cuban Critters. It’s my weird sense of humor, I know, but as I viewed the crab in the pool, I couldn’t help thinking of the painful surprise some inebriated midnight skinny dipper might get as he or she dived into the pool!! I hope it is posted “Do Not Swim at Night”.

  2. Freda Goulet

    I googled caterpillars on the internet and it seems that picture might be a Zebra caterpillar. They are native to Central America and as far north as Southern Florida.

    • Cool thanks for that. I have never seen them before in Cuba. The flowering tree they were on is very pretty.Imagine my surprise when I went to smell the flowers and spotted so many of them on that tree!

  3. Love all of these. Cuba is the one place I am dying to see before I die. It has always intrigued me and I can’t wait to go there.

    • You should. We have been to Mexico and Domican Republic in the Carribean, but Cuba is our favourite. Mexico has the Mayan ruins which is cool, but there is something about Cuba that we just love and keeps us coming back.

  4. Marcella Rousseau

    I have never been to Cuba but I have seen and loved the movie, “Havana!” with two of my favorite actorss: Robert Redford and Raúl Juliá, Great photos!

  5. Your Cuban adventure was a true delight! What an exciting encounter with the little critters. I would have freaked out if it will jump into my arms or head and I really admire both you and your husband’s calm, relax spirit.Events like these makes everyday life truly fun and memorable. And how I wish we have more of these wonderful adventures on a daily basis. Beautiful post. Have a great day.

    • Well he was OK with it on him. When it jumped onto my camera and touched my finger I jumped and screamed. The whole pool looked over to see what had happened… I should post the photo I happened to snap as it landed on me… all blurred green 😉
      I loved watching the critters, at a distance!
      Thanks for the comments and vist as always.

  6. Ciao Diana. I loved Cuba. I always wondered why the crabs love to swim in the pool and not the ocean! Love the colourful, in love lizards … great shot!

  7. great post! i loved the geckos and the gusano/caterpillars! z

  8. It surprises me that the crabs want to be in the pool. The chlorine levels must be low. It reminds me of a nighttime visit to the bathroom in a village house in Kosrae, Micronesia. I heard scratching, and when I turned on the light, there was a huge crab. Quite a shock. We have the jumping lizards here in Hawaii, too, but, like you, I don’t want them jumping on me 🙂 Love your tale of Cuba. I really want to go there someday.

    • CanadianTravelBugs

      Well the crab may have fallen in the pool as they came across the pool deck. A few unfortunate ones were there each day. That would be a scare in the dark to find one in your bathroom!
      Cuba is lovely. Hope you get there one day.
      Thanks so much for the visit and comment 🙂

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