HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: Sites of attraction
IF YOU HAVE an image of water welling up from the ground only to disappear into the underbrush when you hear the word ‘spring’, then think again.
At least two of the island’s more popular springs have a different look to them.
There is no more hopping from slippery, moss-covered rock to rock to get to a dip in the cool water. Think steps, even a handrail; and stepping stones or blue swimming pool tiles on which you stand as you enjoy the water that is piped directly to your back.
Yes, both Porey Springs in St Thomas and Pot House, St John, have new looks and they make the natural areas all the more accessible.
A 28-year-old man, who admitted he was one behind the upkeep of Porey Springs, said the men from the area had come together to change its look.
There is a freshly white-washed arch at the entrance, with an inspirational message to brighten your day as you enter.
Stone steps have been constructed and the beginnings of a handrail are there. At the head of the iron pipe, that is directing water to the centre of the pool, is a stone-carved lion, while the Rastafarian colours stand out against the dark green hues of the surrounding foliage.
Our camera-shy guide also pointed to an area on the outside that has been earmarked as the site of a new pond.
“Before all these things were built, the spring did real, real down,” he said, as he explained the men had given of their time to effect the transformation.
“And the people come,” he said, as he took out his soap in preparation for his morning bath.
Meanwhile, the spacious environs at Pot House are reminiscent more of a park than a spring.
And the man who can be credited with the transformation is Robert ‘Sky Fire’ Pollard, who took Heather-Lynn’s Habitat on a tour of the well-landscaped site.
Majestic palm and coconut trees reach their way to the sky; a calabash tree is there and the blood red blooms of ginger lilies vie for attention among the other lilies in the grounds.
But the centre of attention has to be the clay and blue-tiled swimming pool-like bathing area.
Here, too, the spring water is channelled from its “head” – with its cray fish feeding on any mosquitoes larvae – by way of a plastic pipe, into the bathing area.
‘Sky Fire’ assured us that when the rains begin, the flow from the pipe will be spectacular.
“This is a nice place. I is drink this water and thing all my life. All of us do this. We do the landscape right through,” he said, adding his philosophy was one of planting fruit trees, not decorative palms in the area.
This has been his labour of love from the time he left school. He is now 50, he said.
But he admits the nature lovers who tend to Pot House Springs could do with some help. They need simple things like rakes and a wheelbarrow to help with the upkeep of the expansive area.