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Land Life

Coconut crabs are threatened by being eaten and by being run over as this one we met on the road by night. It has disappeared from many other islands. Birgus latro

Already 30 years old, this foot-sized crab may not escape the pot. But for now it is safe under the admiring eyes of the photographer. Who could eat such a beautiful animal, so unique in the animal kingdom?

The uga (pronounce oongah) in a submissive pose. The coastal road running through its main territory, is a death trap for many semi-coastal animals.

The coastal road also threatens land crabs that play Russian roulette with motor cars. Fortunately the locals drive slowly and they are adept at dodging them
Geograpsus crinipes

A land crab considers crossing the road. These land crabs depend on the sea to complete their life cycle. Females deposit their eggs in the sea where the larvae develop into young crabs before climbing on the land.

Feisty female land crab brandishing her claws. Geograpsus crinipes

A purple land crab on the road. Geograpsus grayi

A large female purple land crab defending her brood of eggs under her abdomen. Geograpsus grayi

A purple rock crab attacked this cord and left her claws behind, a ploy to distract attackers.

Large red land crab uses one of its long legs like a blind man’s cane. Discoplax longipes

Many land crabs face death on the road as road kill, like this large red crab. Discoplax longipes

A swarm of butterflies draws attention. Cyclone Heta upset the normal ecological cycles. Pests of caterpillars and no birds to eat them, are followed by swarms of butterflies.

Closeup of the dominant butterfly

After rains, butterflies descend on spongy leaves to drink water

A vanilla plantation in the rain. Vanilla is an orchid, of which the valuable black dried seed pods are used. Being a shade loving vine, it is trained on a living shade tree and draped in loops around it.

A young nonu tree, already bearing fruit. Nonu juice is believed a health panacea, in eager demand worldwide.

Tens of thousands of nonu saplings in long rows await the tribulations of the dry season, yet to come. The vagaries of nature are large.