To Belize and Back Again

There was no 5:00am alarm this morning to wake me in time for the first bird walk of the day. No travel partner next door to jostle because her clock had failed. None of the noisy, rhythmic clucking of the Chachalakas. When I peered out my bedroom window, the branches of the trees were bare. No towering cohune palms sweeping the skies.

It felt odd pulling on a fleece robe instead of peeling off a sweaty sheet. When I walked up the driveway to get the newspaper, only the “peter, peter” call of a Titmouse greeted me instead of the roar of Howler monkeys or the “boop-boop” of the Blue-Crowned Mot-mots.

But for one week, I was fortunate to travel with 12 other people from my NJ world to walk the earth in Belize and learn about the birds, the people and the animals who live out their lives in that Central American country. I hiked straight up a Mayan mountain to marvel at the Scarlet Macaws, was treated to an unexpected lesson about tarantulas when one was found on the door frame of Betsy’s lodge, dined on rice and beans and the chicken taken from our host’s free range flock; savored papaya, just-picked bananas, pineapple, watermelon. I walked the jungle trails, climbed across rope bridges and struggled with the discomfort of almost 80 mosquito bites (yes, I used insect repellant and yes, I am taking an antimalarial).

We saw and/or heard 244 bird species in just one week’s time.

And yes; I would do it again. Here’s why:

 
Green Honeycreeper
 
Rufous-tailed Jacamar
Long-Tailed Hermit Hummingbird
Red-capped Manikin (left) next to White-Collared Manikin (click to enlarge)

Little Blue Heron

 
 Great Blue Heron
  
 Agami Heron (“…one of the rarest and most beautiful birds on this continent…”~Lenny)
  
 Groove-billed Ani
  
 Yellow-billed Cacique
 
Ivory-billed Woodcreeper

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7 Responses to To Belize and Back Again

  1. Anonymous says:

    What outstanding pictures! And commentary!
    Oh, was I ever so fortunate to be with you on this trip!

  2. Glad to hear you are back safe and sound, except for the nasty mosquito bites of course.

    It looks like an amazing trip and the pictures of the birds are dazzling. I'll bet you think you died and went to heaven spying all those different species. I'm sure you can't wait to go back one day.

  3. Maria says:

    What a fun amazing trip that must have been, so happy for you and thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh,my goodness! I am so envious, DJ. Jeff and I were supposed to go to Costa Rica for my 40th birthday in December. I was so surprised that he thought of taking me somewhere specifically for birdwatching and sad that we had to cancel. I promise myself that I will take that trip someday. It's something I never knew I wanted to do until he told me we were going. I'm so glad you got the opportunity to see such gorgeous creatures!

  5. Janet T. says:

    Thanks for the little taste of Belize along with the great photos! It triggered wonderful memories for me which will help get me through this snowy NJ winter.

  6. Chris Petrak says:

    Wonderful images!! – which doesn't do them credit! I hope you'll be posting more.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you , Diane , for creating this beautiful tapestry of words and images .It was a journey that I will always savour . Thanks for helping to preserve the memories .Suzanne

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