Last Saturday Dennis and I made a little trip to Placencia to meet our friend, Dena, and her friend, Peggy, for a visit and lunch. We made a brief stop in Monkey River Village before driving to Placencia. On the short boat ride to the village, we noticed waterspouts out at sea and I managed to get some photos while we were in the village.
We saw as many as seven waterspouts at a time. They usually don't last too long, maybe 20 minutes, and their winds max out at about 100MPH - nowhere near as destructive as their tornado cousins. Still, you don't want to be near them when you are in or on the water.
|Dramatic sky with sun beaming through dark clouds and a waterspout in the distance. I took processing liberties using a function called "HDR-ish" in Picasa to highlight the drama.|
Soon we were on our way up the Monkey River Road in the Subaru. We had plenty of time and stopped to take a few other photos. Like the gorgeous blossoms of the Provision Tree below. The blossoms on these large trees are as big as your head. The very phallic buds peel open like a banana and the long red-tipped stamens fan out. The fruit is roughly the size and shape of a football (American football, that is. Not soccer) and contains edible nuts. I haven't tried them yet, but will if I get the chance.
|They were fairly far away, but you can make out the water spray at the sea's surface under the leftmost spout. |
Pachira aquatica, Provision Tree.
We also saw what I at first thought was a bird-of-paradise flowering at the edge of the jungle. But I am not so sure now.
|Bird-of-Paradise? Probably not - it looks different than most that I see growing in the wild round here. Maybe it is a Canna flower. They are in the same order (Zingiberales) as the bird-of-paradise and the gingers. Another mystery to solve!|
After having a delightful lunch with Dena and Peggy at Dragonfly Moon Restaurant in Placencia (which we highly recommend, also see more about them here), we had coffee at Above Grounds Coffee House (also highly recommend). Drinking our coffee (or, in my case, a caramel macchiato) on the deck, we were approached by a Maya woman selling wooden bowls. I bought a bowl to use as a bread bowl. It is a lovely thing, made of tamarind wood. As you can see in the photo below, I soon put it to good use, making French-style baguettes and southern biscuits (aka "scones" or "johnny cakes", depending on what part of the world you are in). Tamarind, which is called tambran around here, is a very hard wood and takes a nice natural polish to its surface.
|The tamarind wood bowl is the perfect size for mixing biscuit or bread dough.|
From waterspouts to wooden bowls, you can never tell where the road in Belize will take you.