Black-collared hawk Crooked Tree Belize

Don’t want to put our local turkeys on the spot but I like this magnificent bird, a black-collared hawk .I photographed  this one in Belize  and I think it has the wild turkey beat in appearance. Here is a link to  some more photographs of this beautiful bird. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-2/belize-february-2015/nggallery/belize-2015/black-collared-hawk belize#gallery/5489f221decc881b58f85fc6be80668e/850Black Collared hawk 3 (4 of 10)Black Collared hawk 1 (9 of 10)

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And so all good things must end, farewell Crooked Tree, Belize, thanks for a wonderful week.

Off to the airport shortly, and not looking forward to  heading back to the record breaking cold of the north.  Even filtered down here  to the tropics.

Took my last hike through this quaint little village, which I have come to know, and love. Took a little detour along the Stiles Thomas Trail, which runs along the back yards of some of the local properties before it turns toward the lagoon.  I loved walking it, and didn’t get a chance to post and photos, and it was especially pleasant in the morning. saw a lot of birds and what I thought looked like a robin.

Walked back into town and wanted to get a photo of the causeway across the lagoon. . It is relatively new, having  been built in 1984.  Prior to that time the only way to access the village was by boat. Denver, one of the staff, grew up in the village, and recalls his happy memories of boating  on the Belize River to Belize City with his dad. Must have been a simpler, and happier time.  The village is still a warm community of folks who welcome visitors to enjoy there laid back life style and natural beauty. I  will miss this place, but cherish the memories and new experiences. . Here is a link to some of the photos I uploaded on my Flicker site. https://flic.kr/s/aHsk838FNj

And can’t live Belize without saying thanks to Verna, Denver and the pleasant staff at the Bird’s Eye View Lodge. They were  so friendly and accommodating. Loved the hearty meals they prepared, the tortilla soup was unique and awesome last night.  I would highly recommend this lovely place on the Crooked Tree lagoon. Another wonderful place on this beautiful planet. The world is Crooked Tree last morning walk 029filled with them, including your own back yard. Well time to go. See you in the cold and ice of the frozen north.

 

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

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Snail Kite, Crooked Tree Lagoon, Belize 2-16-2015

Had some free time this morning, and the internet was working, so wanted to share some photos of this beautiful and unique bird, the snail kite.   I  took them on our early morning boat ride on Monday morning on the Crooked Tree Lagoon. The hawk feeds exclusively off of apple snails. The photo below shows the discarded shells.

Just another of the many wonderful critters i was able to see during my stay in this wonderful little town. Wait until you see the baby howler monkey photos i took today. What an experience. Will see if I can get them up before I leave tomorrow, but got to eat now and then pack later. And, of course, it will depend if the internet is working. There is always something to see, if you keep your eyes peeled.  Here is a link to some more photos of this remarkable bird.  https://flic.kr/s/aHsk82krHqsnail kite 7 (1 of 1)Belize zoo 024

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Walking the backroads of Belize

Good morning on  a cloudy and chilly morning at the Bird’s Eye View Lodge in Crooked Tree Belize.  Looks like all that frigid weather they are having up north has made it’s way down here. We have a northerly wind which brought in some cooler temperature. Must have dipped into the 60’s  this morning and  some of the locals have jackets on.  No complaints from this escapee from the frigid northern waste.

Took a nice, and long, hike out of the village today to a second lagoon. Once again walked through the awakening village to the crowing of roosters and the calling and singing of many species of birds. Cows, horses and dogs roamed the village. I wanted to point out that the most of the animals are fenced in but some owners let them roam free to gather their own food. The fences are made of the wood that made the village famous, logwood.  It is what brought the English bayman here in the 17th century. The wood is used as a dye for wool. Termites won’t eat it so it is used for post. You can she it in post in the photo below.

I left the town, and walked through old abandoned cashew groves. The word become deserted and I  didn’t see a human for two miles. Cashew groves gave way to savannah woods mixed with tropical pines. Then became wet until I reached the lagoon, which was a wide expanse of marsh and swamp land. All my Facebook friends know how much I love swamps.  And not a soul around. Loved the peace and quite. Only sounds were the many species of birds.  Saw many species of birds, including  herons, vultures, a cardinal, a snail kite and a rare flock of yucatan jays. Made my way back into town just as the elementary children were going to school. They go to school in town, not like the secondary school children, who take the one hour bus ride to Belize city. It was a long walk, 7.5 miles but a very enjoyable one. I am becoming quite found of this little village.  Internet was good today so was able to upload some photos to my Flicker page. Here is the link, if you are interested. https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8Dh3kF

 

“Unexplored paths lead to undiscovered treasures”
Constance Chuks FridayCrooked Tree second lagoon walk 006

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Sorry No Photos.

Well we have internet tonight  but it is almost useless for uploading photos. I’ve been trying to upload a photo of some cashews flowers for an hour now and I give up. I’ll have to update you without ant photos, and I took so many beautiful ones today.

Feeling much better now and had a nice dinner at the Lodge.  Was hoping to get some photos up but that isn’t going to happen while I’m in Belize. It was a hot day today but I still got out for four hikes, two with my regular lens, once with the zoom and once with the macro. And so much to photograph. The coolest were the termites. I ripped a part of there nest off and it was amazing how quickly they repaired it. Got some cools photos with the macro lens. Also saw a lot of humming birds who are attracted to the early cashew flowers that just started to bloom. Walked along the lake and lot of birds and lizards. Ran into free roaming cows and horses.  Walked the streets of Crooked Tree on the way back and nice seeing the school kids playing games, old folks relaxing and even a local church group practicing their singing. Life is pretty much the same everywhere.

I was hoping to share some of the photos. Even went to the lobby to see if the internet was faster. It wasn’t. But there are some pretty big funky frogs hopping around out there on my way back. ,  And Venus is brillant in the west.   Well it was hot mid to upper 80’s so took a lot out of me.  And losing all those fluids didn’t help. So I.m off for an early sleep. Good night folks, stay warm up north,

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Sunrise is always a good medicine for anything that ails you.

Good morning from Central America. Wasn’t the most pleasant night, spent a lot of time  in the bathroom,  but green tea,  imodium  and a light breakfast are helping.   Feeling so much better, and have to thank fellow traveler,  Dr. Nancy and the staff here who have been so helpful with my predicament. You always seem to meet the kindest of folks when you travel.  And of course the beautiful sunrise sure helped my spirits. .  Sure is beautiful down here. So many species of birds singing throughout the night and even more so at dawn.

Looks like I will not be going on a day trip but that works out. I will get to explore this quaint little village of Crooked Tree.  Going to try and get some more photos of the many species of birds that live near the lagoon. Unfortunately, it is still very high this year, so the birds are scattered. When it gets lower, during the dry season, which is starting now, they flock to the lower water levels to dine on the fish and snails in the lagoon. Still a remarkable experience to be here. Hope to share some more of it later and when I get back home. Here is the link to some more photos of todays beautiful sunrise. https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8ydtDG

Crooked Tree sunrise 047

 

Sleep, riches, and health to be truly enjoyed must be interrupted. ~Johann Paul Friedrich Richter

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Another Morning in Paradise. at Crooked Tree, Belize.

It seems that things just get better around here. Had a wonderful morning looking for birds, and learning so much about the natural environment of this beautiful area, on a boat ride on the Crooked Tree Lagoon. And we saw a lot of spectacular birds, and iguanas, howler monkeys and even some bats.

Started the day early, watching the crescent moon rise near Scorpio. Once again the stars were amazing down here. And as I watched the stars, i heard a thunderous splashing in the lagoon, and was surprised to see a bull charging through the water, having a good old time. Amazing place this is.

Walked through the village in the dark, felt so safe and at home, along the farms and houses, listening to the strange bird calls and the crowing of the roosters. Like going back to a much simpler time.  Of course had a cup of coffee, and boarded a boat for a tour of the lagoon. So many beautiful tropical and migratory birds.  The cove photo of this post is a black collared hawk, one of many great photos I was able to capture. Unfortunately the internet is slow, and sporadic, we had know last night, so I decided to just post a few photos each day, here on my blog and post more when I’m back in the States.  Off shortly to explore the ruins of another Mayan city, Altun Ha, so not sure if I’ll be able to get back on today. Hope all is well, despite the cold, only 31 days, until Spring, so hang in there. Enjoy your day!

Crooked Tree Lake boat ride 35mm 075

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” – Anatole France

 

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Bird’s Eye View Lodge Crooked Tree, Belize. A room with a view, for sure.

Good morning. Got a few minutes to check in before we head to the Mayan ruins at Lamanai.  Just back from a sunrise walk, although I didn’t have to go far, I had a perfect view from my front door.  And last night, the stars were unbelievable. Scorpio rose just before the dawn. The two stars in the tail were near the crescent moon.  This is a cool place. Here are some photos from the lodge I am staying. I worked on my photograph page but it is still too slow. may have to wait to get to the States to add a new plug in. Internet is slow and sporadic down here. https://flic.kr/s/aHsk7RYZMRe.

stars 005Birds and critters 7D 002

 

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Helen Keller,

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Crooked Tree, Belize, I Think I’m in Heaven

Left Belize City this morning, wondering if I should have rented a car. Some of the travel sites advised against it for safety reasons but after being here for a day I saw no reason for concern. I was picked up by a residnet and native of the small village of Crooked Tree. He lived in New York for 35 years and returned here after retirement. Learned so much from him about life in the small village he was born that I was glad I didn’t drive. He told me, when he was a child the only way to access the village was by boat via the Belize river. How cool is that. He toldme many stories about growing up in the small village.

Upon arriving in Crooked Tree, home of the cashew, it sure looked like nothing much had changed. What a picturesque  and laid back village of about 1000 people. Horses, pigs and cattle roamed freely and shared the village with crocodiles and howler monkeys. All types of colorful species of birds were in the air and trees of all types, including my first sighting of a cashew tree. Denver thought me so much on that ride.

The resort I am staying, the Bird’s Eye View lodge, is situated on a lake adjoining the Belize river and is famous for it’s native and migrating birds  Saw a lot of big camera lenses already, as this is a favorite for ‘birders’. Of course I took a walk and, for a nature lover like me, it was like heaven. So many new species of birds, insect, plantsand trees. It was hot too, but I enjoyed it. And, as I walked, heard the loudest and strangest sound in the distance. As I followed the sound I saw a group of children looking in a tree, at a howler monkey. I was told they rarely come into the village so I was very lucky to see it. Hoping to upload the video but internet here is very slow.  I got it. This is really cool. Here is the youtube link. ://youtu.be/httppaPhafpx3PM   I headed back to the Lodge, had an enjoyable lunch and ready to head out again. Seriously, if heaven were like this, they’d be no complaints from me. Hoping to get one more blog entry up today, but if not, it’s off to the Mayan ruins tomorrow. Here is the link to some photos I took this afternoon on my walk in Crooked Tree.   https://flic.kr/s/aHsk7ShUeG Crooked Tree  afternoon walk 050

 

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