I continue to go through photos from the last 9 months or so, playing catchup on the blog. This post features the last shots of 2017. In 2016, Norwegian Cruise Lines opened their new dock and exclusive facilities about 8 miles to our north onHarvest Cay. The route the cruise ships take to Harvest Cay passes directly in front of our property, about 8-10 miles off shore. During the high activity of the winter cruise season, we see one ship a day come in from the south at sunrise and depart back to the south at sunset. Every now and again there are two ships in one day. The ships never stay overnight in Belize waters. In the slower summer season, we see one or two ships a week.
|Norwegian Cruise Lines ship headed to Harvest Cay.|
We have been worried about the impact of the cruise ships on this part of Belize; so far the impact has been fairly minimal. But Belize conservationists, including us, are totally pissed off that the Belize Government granted NCL an exemption to have an endangered scarlet macaw in a cage at the facility to "greet" cruise ship passengers. Not a good example of protecting the wildlife that is a major draw for tourists in Belize. It is likely that money changed hands on that exemption.
Time does march on in Belize, although it seems to be slower here than more developed places.
|The footpath that goes past the site of the former resort called "Bob's Paradise". This is a section of the path I run almost every day.|
All that's left of Bob's Paradise are stumps of dock posts and some of the concrete columns that supported the restaurant. Dennis and I never had the pleasure of staying at Bob's. It was booked solid in 1999 the first time we came to southern Belize, although we did boat past it. It was in it's heyday then. And then in 2001, it was pretty much wiped off the map by Hurricane Iris and was never rebuilt.
|The remains of the dock posts at Bob's Paradise. That is Great Monkey Cay in the distance.|
On the same stretch of beach is another abandoned resort. It is still standing, but gradually being reclaimed by the jungle and the weather. This place was built after Hurricane Iris.
Again, the docks are what go the quickest without constant maintenance. A big earthquake in 2007 with an epicenter only 50 miles away caused the dock posts to subside deeper into the ground. That happened to our dock, although not quite as much as this one.
|There used to be a nice palapa at the end of the dock; a perfect place for relaxing with drinks and casting a lazy line in the water for fish. Little Monkey Cay is in the distance.|
|The dock being slowly reclaimed by the sea. Forgotten dreams.|
The footpath connecting the properties of Englishtown is not very long, only about 1.4 miles including three small side spurs. Short though it is, there are always everyday wonders to see along the way. Like these false parasol mushrooms, Chlrorophyllum molybdites.
|I see these mushrooms several time a year in this same spot not too far from the Phallus sp. in the last post.|
They start off looking like flocked eggs on a stalk, just like the prized true parasol mushrooms, Lepiota spp
. The true parasol mushrooms are frequently collected edible mushrooms.
|Just popping up from the soil.|
Then they open to form the parasol shape that gives them their common name. BUT - they are false parasols,
and as indicated by their other name of vomiter,
should not be eaten. They aren't deadly, just make you wish were dead.
|Tempting, but best not eaten.|
The key characteristic that gives away its true identity is the pale green color of the gills that with time turns a dark mossy green and leaves behind a green spore print - the color of chlorophyl, hence its scientific name.
|Gills are just beginning to show green. I forgot to get a shot of it after it turned a darker green.|
I was disappointed that these weren't edible. Some people cook them well and drain all the liquid before eating them with no problem, but I don't feel like risking it.
Barnie loves to be with me anytime I am outside. This slightly blurry shot shows how big and muscular she is.
|One muddy back leg from stepping into swamp water. Look at the muscles on that girl!|
We both get pretty hot on our walks, so the return trip is often wading in the sea if the sea is calm.
|Barnie, leading the way.|
Barnie loves to chase fish and stingrays through the water. Not that she has ever actually caught anything.
|The water is good way to escape the biting flies, too.|
We see fish, stingrays, eagle rays, starfish, brittle stars, whelk, conch, and jellyfish in the shallow water in front of our place.
|Here, a little fish found shelter inside the bell of a jellyfish.|
No shortage of insects either.
|Just look at those big eyes.|
Back at home, one of the plants that we keep to attract hummingbirds is this Mother-of-Thousands plant. It is often classified in the genus Kalanchoe,
but sometimes in the genus Bryophyllum.
Like the familiar kalanchoe plants, it makes small plantlets at notches along the leaf margins and each plantlet is capable of growing into another plant if it lands in the right place. Hummingbirds feed at the flowers, which are quite long-lasting.
Slowly, but steadily catching up to current happenings. Next time I will include more of the holiday with my family. And soon a post featuring Clove.