Saturday, 27 February 2016


Cover photo by Robert Scott-Buccleuch: A young man sits, deep in thought, among the breakers on the beach in Clare Valley, SVG.

Re-visit Part 1 @

Re-visit Part 2 @


During celebrations of Independence Day in St.Vincent and the Grenadines some years ago, artist Robert Scott-Buccleuch observed ...

It's Independence Day here in SVG and I so love to see the national unity and flags flying and those crazy Biker Boyz from all the islands celebrating with us.

But I don't see that people here realize that all our money still has the Queen on it, so we are dependent on the Central Bank. We import everything we eat and pay our Vinlec surcharge with a whimper, totally dependent on outside resources.  They didn't listen to Sir James when he tried to promote 'Back to the Land' in the 70's and now the nation is almost totally dependent on outside sources for our food.
No, I shall celebrate the Garifuna people today, as the last of the true independents, with Joseph Chatoyer as paramount leader.
The illustration is my humble attempt to show the Kalinago of Yurumein .  It is a water-color and ink interpretation, on 300 lb w/c paper. The history of these natives of St.Vincent is most fascinating.  Dr. Earle Kirby and others feel that the African influence began as early as the 13th century, from Mali.  
It forms part of a series on the British colonization of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I wish to bring to light the history of this island they call Yurumein; 'the homeland'.

'Kalinago Warrior' by Robert Scott-Buccleuch

Robert Scott-Buccleuch's initial sketch of the Kalinago warrior, with some notes

Robert might well be described as a 'artist-historian-at-large'. 
His knowledge of the history of his adopted homeland is expansive and aptly supported by his childhood and current adult encounters on the island.  
Like any good artist, he never leaves home without his sketch-book or camera, which are two of the places where the painting, vision or historical reflection is recorded.  He says that his imagination sometimes just pulls together people, places and things from all of life's experiences and these inform the creative process as it unfolds in surprising ways.   SVG is his current arena.    

It is therefore no surprise that all three came together in this painting (and others). It is also no surprise that RSB 'happened' across our trail, because the missions are not unalike;  they are simply being expressed through various media. 

Some historical context ... 
Aspects of Carib/Kalinago Culture (an excerpt):

Carib was a name used by Europeans to describe those people who inhabited the islands of the Lesser Antilles at the time of Columbus' second voyage in 1493. This was not what the people called themselves. The repeated use of the name for over five centuries however, has made it widely adopted even by the descendants of the people themselves. The French missionary Raymond Breton, visiting Dominica in 1642, recorded that the "Caribs'" name for themselves was Callinago in the "men's language" and Calliponam in the "women's language", while Callínemeti was "a good peaceful man". This has now led to the adoption of the word Kalinago and Karifuna by cultural groups, anthropologists and historians to describe the Caribs. The "Black Caribs" of Belize, who are descended from ancestors in St. Vincent, call themselves the "Garifuna".Kalinago: The Carib word for the Carib people. As Father Breton, who lived among the Kalinago in Dominica off and on between 1642 and 1653 says in his dictionary: "This is the real name of the Caribs of the islands." He wrote it as "Callinago", but the usual phonetic writing today is "Kalinago". "Kalinemeti" means "A good, peaceful man".  

Thank you Robert for sharing your interpretation of the Kalinago Warrior. It serves as a deeper reminder of what it means to be fiercely independent, connected to and appreciative of the efforts of those who came before, in these islands.

Enquiries for more information about Robert Scott-Buccleuch's art (and some rootsy SVG history!) may be e-mailed to ...


Tuesday, 23 February 2016


Cover photo by Robert Scott-Buccleuch:  A young man sits, deep in thought, among the breakers on the beach in Clare Valley, SVG.

Re-visit Part 1 @


This time we pay a visit to the 'Water Wheel' at Pembroke in St. Vincent.

Blending memories and experiences from his childhood in SVG with his encounters as an adult,  Robert Scott-Buccleuch describes the water wheel in Pembroke, as a gigantic rusty water machine that could still serve or at least inspire the community and relevant authorities, after many, many years.  
His photos depict some views of the great wheel, still visible, although overgrown with bushes.  

Photo by R. Scott-Nuccleuch

Photo By R. Scott- Buccleuch 
 It is a grand machine that not only shows how natural water power was harnessed in the old days, but it also seems to stand silently waiting to be brought back to life.  
At least it's enduring presence seems to want to be not only a historical site, but also a reminder that the natural waterways of St. Vincent are resources that can be harnessed for the benefit of communities and industries.  
The search for alternative sources are on the rise world-wide and this old, rusty iron wheel is a clear indicator of what is still possible.  

Photo by R. Scott- Buccleuch
In his own words ...
This the waterwheel in Pembroke St.Vincent, now classified, I believe, as a historical site.  As a youth I remember a shed here providing shelter if rain came ... you could also ride a motor-bike right in; however that is long gone.
Interesting to me is the fact that in the late 18th century, water powered a complete sugar processing plant from the same Vermont River that flows today. There was an aqua duct that brought the water to power it.  You can just see, in the photos,  the big wheel spokes to the left of the stone pillar.  
FYI  ... If you operate a vehicle anywhere near this site, then watch out for cows in the road at evening/ night. I did and I still got hit.
This is my water-color 'work-in-progress' interpretation of the water-wheel in Pembroke, St. Vincent.  
Robert may be contacted for the sale of this painting, on its completion. 
'Water-wheel', Pembroke, SVG.  (... work-in-progress)

Once again TrailSpots (T-Spots!) would like to thank Robert for his contribution to the trail.  We have word that there might be a Part 4 and eagerly await more glimpses of  SVG, with its abundance of natural, beautiful energy! 
We will certainly continue to follow and feature this adventurous and humble artist along his trails.  There is much more in the making ...

Please note that all photos in this series were taken by Robert Scott-Buccleuch.    
Part 3 will be coming up in a few! 

Enquiries for more information about Robert Scott-Buccleuch's art (and some rootsy SVG history!) may be e-mailed to ...


Thursday, 18 February 2016


Cover photo by Robert Scott-Buccleuch:  A young man sits, deep in thought, among the breakers on the beach in Clare Valley, SVG.

Artist, Robert Scott-Buccluech,  from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, shares a mini-series of photos and artwork from his adopted island home, with TrailSpots (T-Spots!).  

His collection is vast and his techniques are eclectic as he continues his exploration of St. Vincent with its idyllic wild-life, natural environment and numerous historical sites.  Many of these sites are being slowly reclaimed by the forces of nature and the rain forest.   
St.Vincent is also the home of La Soufrière or Soufrière Saint Vincent which is an active volcano on the northern side of the island.  It's last eruption was in 1979.

Robert provides brief descriptions of the wild-life and historical sites based on his personal experiences as a child in SVG and now as the adult artist.   Even as the collection grows, Robert is preparing for an exhibition in his own way and time.   No rush!  

We catch glimpses into the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines through the lens of the camera, as well as the hands and heart of the artist.   

RSB's brief description ... "The Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is native to St.Vincent and can be seen near the sea shore or rivers nesting or searching for small fish.  I spotted one among the rocks during my walk on the beach at Clare Valley". Clare Valley is located on the southwestern side of St. Vincent.   

The blue heron has to be quickly photographed because of its' tendency to move swiftly away from 'intruders', even as it searches for food in the shallows!  Some locals say that the rarely spotted bird "trusts no shadow".  It is also called a 'garling' in these parts ... and yes, its feathers are actually that bluish grey. 

Here's a little more on the blue heron from 'All About Birds' @
Whether poised at a river bend or cruising the coastline with slow, deep wing-beats, the Great Blue Heron is a majestic sight. This stately heron with its subtle blue-gray plumage often stands motionless as it scans for prey or wades belly deep with long, deliberate steps. They may move slowly, but Great Blue Herons can strike like lightning to grab a fish or snap up a gopher. In flight, look for this widespread heron’s tucked-in neck and long legs trailing out behind.

Robert's quick-fire photo of a blue heron on the sea-side rocks in Clare Valley was perfectly timed.  The big bird blended easily into the rocky gray background and certainly looked ready to 'disappear'!

Photo by Robert Scott-Buccleuch, SVG
... and here is Robert's water-color interpretation, where the blue heron wades in water as it's beak touches the horizon!  Nice touch!
'Blue Heron': Water-color painting by Robert Scott-Buccleuch

This piece, 'Blue Heron', has already been sold.

Thank you Robert for your "first in the series"contribution to 'TrailSpots'.  We look forward to a visit to the islands' sites and more sharing, as you continue along the SVG trail and off the beaten path.   
Trail-spotters near and far might want to put SVG on the vacation travel list, especially if you love exploring the natural outdoors!  

Enquiries for more information about Robert Scott-Buccleuch's art (and some rootsy SVG history!) may be e-mailed to ...

Look out for Robert Scott-Buccleuch's 'second in the series' ... coming up in a few!


Wednesday, 17 February 2016


Okay!   We're back!
The trail bug is biting hard, so off we go again ... !
Sea below!  Sky above!  Trails to travel!

By tomorrow we'll be 'landing' in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the first of a three-part mini feature, with a special friend and guest.   It's not about comfy hotels and exclusive resorts folks ... that's just not our style!
We go off the beaten path in so many ways ... as some of you already know.    

Check in tomorrow for a new Trail mix and ...   
If you happen to be on Google+, you'll find everything that you might have missed right there!  You can use the side-bar Google+ key on the blog to get there.  Once you're there why not follow!
Remember that there's always something new in the side-bar too!  

Happy to have you with us again trail-spotters!  Let's get moving!




Guys just wanna have fun ... right?   Last week-end, one of our trail-spotters, AG and some friends, went on a fun rally trail sponsor...