The great outdoors

The dry season is over and all the plants and trees are greening up and growing once again. Which also makes all the wildlife a lot more active around here. Over the past month we have seen and heard a lot more animals moving around. Here’s just a few of the things happening around here.

Coatimundi looking down at us.

Kelley did manage to get a few pictures of the coatimundis that have been hanging around here. There seems to be at least 15 or so in their group. They come in the late afternoon, climb the tree, feed for a little while and then all come down and leave before dark. They must have eaten everything on that tree, because they seem to have moved on for now.

Feeding time is over and time to exit.

We’ve had a couple bird nests real close to the house this year. This is the second year that the Black-cowled Oriole has woven a nest in the bay palm just 10′ off our porch. After a while we finally saw three little beaks sticking out of the nest. As far as we know they have not come out of the nest yet.

Three baby Black-cowled Orioles waiting for mom to return.
Mama Black-cowled Oriole keeping a watchful eye on her nest.

Another bird that has had it’s nest in the peak of the garage for a couple years is the Social Flycatcher. We have watched the parent birds fly in and out of that nest every few minutes to feed the little ones.

Social Flycatcher babies wanting more food.

Finally, one day they seemed to stop flying into the nest so much. That is when we noticed that the babies were out of the nest, stretching their wings and learning to fly. We knew it was them because the two parent birds were high up in the trees watching them as the young ones were doing short little flights between small trees.

Baby Social Flycatcher stretching his new wings.

There are over 600 types of birds in Belize, so we are always seeing new ones that we have never seen before. This time in front of the house there was a Squirrel Cuckoo. This was the first time we have seen one and Kelley was luckily enough to get a few pictures. He was a beautiful bird and pretty good size, maybe 18″ or so.

Squirrel Cuckoo

We did see a small snake the other day, a totally harmless Mexican Parrot snake. He had found himself a nice meal of a frog. The frog was puffed up as big as he could, making it look impossible for the snake to swallow.

Mexican Parrot snake with his recent catch.

The snake took his prized catch off into the bushes, so we don’t know if the frogs strategy to puff up was enough to get the snake to release him. Chances are that the snake just enjoyed a nice frog meal.

I know I can, I know I can.

We have seen at least 15 different types of lizards around here, and I know there are more. They range in size from a few inches up to some big 5-6′ iguanas. The Basilisk lizards (like the one below) like to sit on tree stumps and fence posts.  They are known for being able to run on water, earning them the name Jesus Lizard. The males can get up to 36″ long, with most of that being their tail. They are a lot of fun to watch when they run across the yard on their two back legs.

Basilisk lizard chill’n out in the front yard.

The other day we were walking between the house and the garage when we looked up and noticed these beautiful purple flowers. They were in the top of a tree that was 60-70′ tall. We couldn’t tell if they were part of the tree or a vine, we’d never noticed them before. They were only there for a couple of days and then they were gone. I can’t imagine how many plants that only bloom for one or two days that we have yet to see. Same goes for the animals, who knows how many roam around here without us ever seeing them.

Beautiful purple flowers high up in the tree.

The Bluffs, one of our closest and favorite restaurants, has just gotten better. It’s an old open-air barn that overlooks the beautiful Belizean countryside down towards the Macal river. They have darts, cornhole, great food, ice cold beverages and sometimes live music. Recently they have added a palapa down on the rivers edge where you can take food, drinks and enjoy a nice cool dip in the river.

Cooling off in the river at The Bluffs

We headed over to The Bluffs for lunch the other day and decided that we should head down to the river and check it out. We didn’t have our swimsuits with us, but that didn’t stop us from being knee deep in the river and enjoying a couple cold ones. Next time we are bringing our floating ice chest and make a whole day of it. They are also renting kayaks, or bring your own and you can float a few hours down stream to another bar and arrange for pickup. How cool is that!

A great spot on the river.

As we were leaving the river and heading home, there was something we’ve never seen before. There in the middle of the road was a crock! We thought they were usually only around water, but this one was a good few miles from any river or body of water. We slowly approached it, got some pictures and then drove around it. All I could think was, where there’s one, there’s got to be another.

Crock in the middle of the road.

Belize is an amazing place with all the plants, animals and things to see. I know we will never see all the things down here, which is why when we do see something we’ve never seen before it’s so exciting for us.

5 thoughts on “The great outdoors”

  1. Love reading your stories. Very entertaining. Becoming familiar with the surrounding flora and animals is very intriguing. You are better then encyclopedia Britannica. Remember those?
    Take Care,

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