Just another week in the jungle

Darren is back down for a visit and to check on the construction of his house. There has been a lot accomplished since last time he was here. He’d hadn’t seen it since it was just a block and cement shell of a house.

Darren’s house is getting real close to being done.

Now the roof is on, the floors are tiled, all windows and doors are in, lights and fans are all working, completely painted inside and out and the wrap around porch has been started. It’s looking great and I think he is very happy with it. The next step will be to order all the kitchen cabinets and then start on furniture and appliances. Pretty soon he’ll be enjoying his own house in the jungle.

The inside is looking great!

A few months ago when we were out on Ambergris for some Jim Dalton shows, we ran into Mike Nash in the crowd. Mike Nash is a great musician who plays everywhere including Belize and Puerto Peรฑasco. After talking to him and his wife awhile we suggested that he should come up to The Bluff near us and play. He said that they had never been to mainland Belize, only out on the island and said it sounded like fun.

Kelley and Mike Nash at The Bluff.

Arrangements were made for him to play two nights at The Bluff. Mike said he was blown away by all the beauty and people up here and it reminded him of his home in Tennessee.ย  In his post the next day he said “I just finished what might literally be the greatest mind blowing night ever.” He had no idea about this part of the country and really fell in love with everything about it.ย  If he would have known he said he would have brought his hat, boots and shit kickers instead of shorts and flip flops. He’s already talking about next time and bringing other musicians up here. It was definitely an awesome night at The Bluff.

Lyman upfront enjoying Mike while a local boy helps out on a paddle. Yep, just a regular wooden paddle, lots of fun that night.

Our neighbor Dan has been raising sheep for about a year now. So when he told us that he needed to thin the herd down a little, we jumped on the chance to buy one. Kelley and I love lamb and it’s always one of the meats that we include in our meals. We had really hoped to cook it whole in our Caja China box or hang it whole in the smoker and see how that turned out. Either one of those methods would involve having a bunch of people over for a big BBQ, but we are still under covid rules and that means no gatherings of 10 or more. So we ended up taking it to our local butcher and had him cut it up into all the good chops, ribs and such. Earlier in the week, Kelley did a flyer for our friendly butcher so it was a perfect trade out for services.

Fresh lamb.

We finally found time to make some more sausage. This time we started with a 20lb. pork hind leg. The goal this time was to make some more Italian sausage and breakfast sausage. Italian and breakfast sausage are available here, but they seem to lack some of the flavors and spices that we like. It was pretty straightforward sausage-making this time as we choose not to put either one in casings. The breakfast sausage was just formed into patties and the Italian will mostly be used in Italian dishes and to top pizzas.

Preparing to grind pork for sausage.

Recently one of the hydraulic lines on the tractor developed a small leak. No problem, it just needed a couple new copper crush washers on the fitting and the leak should stop. Well, the leak didn’t stop and I got a little torque happy and ended up snapping the banjo bolt that holds the hydraulic line in place.

The broken banjo bolt.

That should not be a problem locating a new bolt as there are tractors everywhere here in Belize. After checking all the possible shops around and coming up empty, I was starting to get discouraged. Then one of the shops suggested just having one made. So off to a machine shop to see if I could get one made. The guy said no problem and it will take him a day or so before he’ll have it ready. The locals here, especially the Mennonites out in Spanish Lookout are so skilled and resourceful that they can make or fix just about anything you need.

When you can’t find one, just have one made.

We were driving home the other day and there was a police checkpoint in the middle of the road up near our village. These are common along the highway where they are usually just checking your insurance and registration, but not up near our village. Anyway, he stops us and then tells me to pull over to the side. Then he ask if I have a permit for the LED light bar on my truck. Of course, I don’t have a permit, so he gives me a $50 ticket and says I need a permit. I tried to explain to him that we live way up in the bush and I need it when I’m not on the main road. It didn’t matter, have a nice day.

My illegal LED light bar.

For the past few weeks, a Red-Vented Woodpecker has been pounding away on the Cohune Palm just a few feet off our front porch. He would pound away on it for a while, then the female would fly over and look at it then fly away.

The perfect view of the woodpecker would be from the casita porch.

Finally, he must have got it to where she approved because she jumped in and stuck her head out, and was ready to start a family. I assume in a short while we will have baby woodpeckers sticking their heads out and hopefully, we can get some good pictures.

It looks like the woodpecker made the opening in the shape of a heart.

Once again Kelley captured another great wildlife photo. This time it was a mama Rufous-Tail Hummingbird feeding her young. About a month ago we noticed a small nest in the mango tree. Every so often we would see mama bird sitting on that nest. Then one day Kelley walked by and up popped a tiny head. At this point, it looks like the baby is about ready to fly away. Soon it will be out on its own enjoying all of the flowers and feeders we have around here.

The next day after this picture was taken the nest was empty.

We have lots of different types of orchids growing on our property and whenever we find one, we relocate it closer to our house. That way we can enjoy them and take pictures when they bloom. The one blooming this week is an octopus bromeliad. It is an interesting looking orchid with a big ball and then arms that make it almost look like an octopus. It gets these beautiful red shoots that purple flowers with white tips come out of.

Every day for a couple of weeks the orchid would pop out another purple flower.

Hope everyone is doing well and thinking about a tropical getaway this year.



2 thoughts on “Just another week in the jungle”

  1. ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ. You guys are very impressive, doing things I canโ€™t imagine doing in Mexico ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ.

  2. I love getting to share your exciting life. Keep your adventures coming. Love you guys to pieces. Gee itโ€™s been many, many years. All good. Iโ€™ll

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