10 January, 2010

Virtual Vacation

Today, as I was archiving and backing up my photographs, I was drawn to the files of photos from our trip to Belize in September 2009. All this cold weather in Europe, Great Britain, and North America has me seeking warmth from all sources, so join me over my next few posts as I revisit Belize.
First up is this bird on which I had a tough time making an ID. It is a large bird, perhaps just a wee bit smaller than a peregrine falcon, but not exactly a falcon shape. What other Belize birds are this size? Montezuma’s oropendula is larger, but with a similar silhouette. This silhouette is more pot-bellied, like a dove, but with a much longer tail. Too large for a cuckoo.
Believe it or not, this is a brown jay! Fully 16 inches long, it is the largest jay of which I am aware.

This particular individual is a first year jay with a yellow bill and prominent eye rings. The maturebrown jays lack eye rings and have dark bills.  I never positively identified a mature jay at our place, but I'm sure they were around.
Another warming image is the this photo of a canna lily growing in front of our cabana.  I like how the red of the blossom is echoed in the leaves.

I will leave you with this image of the our neighbors' palapa in the distance framed by the orchid in bloom on this tree.  The palapa is on the dock of the Steppingstones Resort (http://www.steppingstonesbelize.com/aboutss.php).  Now, just imagine yourself resting in the cool shade of the palapa, sheltered from the hot tropical sun ...  Yes, that's exactly what we have been wanting.


  1. O to be sitting in that last picture now lol

    Looks beautiful Wilma; bet you can't wait to get back there.

  2. thanks for the borwn jay images - I hoped to see one in Nov in Texas but no luck. Next Feb when we go to Belize, I hope I have more success. Trinidad is on the schedule for this March.

  3. Teasing us again..warm sun, salt in the air, beautiful blooms and exotic birds to test our ID. FABulous. Cheers Wilma.

  4. Hi Wilma,
    Now I guessed you are getting us to be like: "hum, please send us this nice weather over here" ;-) Now worse as the other readers thought for me. It is only raining like hell nowadays! You got beautiful flowers pictures as well as quite exotic birds for me at least... Beautiful messages!

  5. Beautiful pictures from your archive.
    Love that Jay's eye, perched in what look like a mango tree.

  6. Hi Wilma. You'll miss the snow when you get to Belize for good. lovely Brown Jay, I saw one on my Texas trip in 2002.

  7. Keith -- that is what is nice about revisiting these photos; I can feel the warm air, hear the lapping waves, and funnily enough, the mosquitoes do not intrude on the daydream.

    Chris P - enjoy Trinidad! I am sure you will see some wonderful birds.

    Frank -- we all need some way to escape this winter mess!

    Chris -- I think I will take snow over rain in the winter. Hope you get some snow soon.

    Tabib -- well-spotted! That is a mango tree, a quite large one planted a generation ago by the first inhabitants of Englishtown.

    TonyC - Yes, when we live in Belize my virtual vacations will be revisiting the snow. Somehow we always miss what we don't have! Lol. Glad you like the jay.

  8. Hi,

    Virtual vacations like those offered by Wonder Rotunda are gradually proliferating, taking advantage of the recession, which has cut into both domestic and foreign travel. Thanks for sharing the your informative post.


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