September already?

It’s hard to believe it’s already September. I know it’s been a while since we’ve posted anything, but there’s not a whole lot happening down here with us. Mostly we’ve just been working on long overdue projects, maintenance, and tending to all the plants around here. We have been having a little bit of rain here and there, just enough where we don’t have to water any of the plants, which is nice.

The past couple of weeks we’ve had a few friends stay with us. Ron was here to check on construction of their new house down in Placencia. Michael also joined him for a week of hanging out and a chance to see how the new house is coming along. Ron had some business to take care of up in our area, so they decided to spend the night with us instead of driving to and from Placencia all in one day. We had a few beers, cranked up the grill for some lamb kabobs and they were out of here first thing in the morning.

Ron, myself and Michael relaxing and enjoying a cold beer.

Next was Chuck & Roxana who are building just past us. Their house is just about done, in fact, this trip was the purchase of appliances, fans, water heater, etc. Five years ago we were one of the first to build in our little area and now out of the eight property owners, seven have built. A few of us have multiple 5-acre lots so we are still spread out quite a bit from each other.

Chuck and Roxana’s house just past us.

Labor Day about 8:45 in the morning there was a very loud boom right near the house. It turns out our transformer at the end of our driveway blew. I went out to inspect it and no oil leaking or damage, but both fuses were off and it looked like what was left of maybe a nest. Anyway, we drove up the road where the phone would work and reported it to the electric company. Within 45 minutes there was a truck there replacing the fuses and removing what was left of a nest. We couldn’t have asked for better service than that.

Less than an hour without power, these guys were great!

It’s that time of year when our Cohune palms start dropping all their nuts. This means that the squirrels, agouti’s and I’m sure others, are out feasting on them and storing them away for later. Just about every day for the past couple of weeks there have been agoutis around the yard carrying nuts off into the bush. We think we have a family of them here as we keep seeing two larger ones and two very small ones. Besides all the cohune nuts around, we also throw our fruit and veggie scraps just off the porch. The agoutis really seem to like the pineapple and dragon fruit scraps that we toss out there.

Two Agouti’s gathering palm nuts.

The agouti is related to the Guinea pig, but is larger and has longer legs. They can get up to 14lbs and a length of 29″. They are excellent swimmers and can run for hours when being chased by predators. When they eat they always sit up on their hind legs and hold their food up to their mouth. They’re always fun to watch when they’re around eating and gathering nuts.

This Agouti is stripping the outer bark off the cohune nut.

We get a lot of butterflies around here, in fact, there are at least three butterfly farms within a few miles from us. It’s always great to see the beautiful blue morphos or bright orange ones and so many others. It must be that time of year as we have a lot of butterflies around here currently. There are quite a few that have jet-black wings with a different solid color. Some are black with red, others are blue or orange. The other day this one that was a neon greenish-yellow landed on our big toucan out front and Kelley managed to get a few pictures.

It’s amazing how symmetrical the pattern is on its wings.

This is the time when we see the golden orb spiders around the yard, mostly because it’s their mating season. They are a big colorful spider that weaves a golden web and are a sight to see. They can get up to 2″ not including their legs, which in my opinion makes them a big spider. The venom is relatively harmless and rarely causes more than slight redness and temporary localized pain. Their webs are gold in color, extremely strong, and can be between 1-2 meters in size. It’s awesome to see one of these wicked-looking spiders in a big golden web, but at the same time also a little scary, especially if you have a fear of spiders.

A golden orb spider that is at least 4″ long.

The other day we were on our way up to Pine Ridge to meet some friends for pizza and a few cold beers. On the side of the road eating something was a King Vulture. They are a fairly rare sight to see, in fact, we have only seen a few in all the time we’ve been here. They are a big beautiful almost all white vulture with black on their wings and tail and a red head. They can have a wing span of up to 7′ and unlike other birds, there is no difference in plumage and little in size between males and females.

Not a great picture as he flies away in the rain.

We just finished making up another big batch of pastrami. Deli-style meats are just about impossible to find in Belize unless they are imported. There are a couple of the bigger meat companies that make round lunchmeat-style ham and such, but not deli-style meats. Who doesn’t love a good hot pastrami on rye with some melted swiss cheese, which is why we chose to make our own. It’s a long process that takes around three weeks by the time the meat is cured, smoked, sliced, and packaged, but very well worth it.

Hot pastrami, brown mustard, and swiss cheese on a toasted roll, now you’re talking!

It’s looking like a lot of our dragon fruit buds got pollinated so we should have quite a few this year. The big flowers bloom only at night and depend on bats, moths and other insects to pollinate the flowers. It takes about a month from the time the flower blooms until it is ready to pick. Most of our dragon fruit is deep purple, but we do have a couple of plants that have white flesh.

A few of the dragon fruit blossoms

If you have never tried dragon fruit you don’t know what you are missing. Kelley and I love to have them for breakfast right out of the fridge. They are one of our favorite fruits that we have growing around here. Besides just eating them plain, they make for some very good and colorful margaritas. I even had a piece of cheesecake the other day with a dragon fruit puree topping and it was great.

These we small dragon fruit, but still very delicious.

Like I said, not a whole lot of anything exciting happening around here, but we are getting stuff done. Hope to see you down here sometime.


3 thoughts on “September already?”

  1. Thanks for the update! I can’t wait to get back there! Except for the spiders, I hope they are only on your side of the road!

  2. Hello Friends 😀 another interesting blog with great pics of what is happening in your piece of paradise. Seems like you have been very busy as usual. We are still dealing with issues from our flood!! Things seem to be moving at a snails pace. The walls did get fixed. Hopefully the flooring will get done the week of the 18th. Then we can move in the furniture & unpack boxes. Hard to believe that this all started July 18th & we’re still dealing with it! Hopefully by the first part of Oct. we can get back to normal. We still talk about our Wonderful trip to Belize & think of you guys often! Take Care!

  3. Thanks for all the info, great times, use of the casita and slow mornings (from late night shenanigans). You have really helped us in our adventure to move there. It is now right around the corner and we are getting super excited. Look forward to sharing the great country of Belize with you and all the other awesome people we have met there. See you in November, if not sooner, and promise to start working on our guest casita (when my tools get down there) so you have a place to enjoy the beach.

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