Life in the jungle: I slept okay last night but at 6 AM I woke up with a horrible cough. So bad I got up and took a walk around the yard and went back to my hammock and fell asleep until 11 AM.
After breakfast I worked most of the afternoon at the ponds. While I regularly go to the ponds to cut/chop grass and collect coconuts this afternoon I actually finished chopping and cleaning a small area that I never completed since chopping the original brush down since late November. So, moving forward the main work at the ponds will finally now be maintenance (grass cutting/chopping).
I planted another 20 lemon seeds. I did a few minutes of painting of some lumber for my next hen house and with a few minutes left before dark I did some chopping at the river lot. I am actually very close to finishing the river lot chopping also. Not that it will do me any good as I don’t expect an excavator to dig my river lot pond anytime soon. The rain basically held off all day with a few brief showers this evening. The frogs are loud as usual
Silver Argiope or Garden Orbweaver spider
Life in the jungle: I got an early start at the ponds this morning. I started by staking out the future planting spots for all my papaya plants. A lot of my plants are not as tall as I would like them but considering how long I have been growing them I feel they should be 2-3 times taller? Usually, some insect is eating the leaves but I noticed a lot of plants are dropping their leaves??? I wonder if it’s because of all the rain? Regardless, I feel like the sooner they all get the ground the better. I spent most of the afternoon taking over 200 plants or 8-9 wheelbarrow trips and placing them around the ponds. When I think about it, I try to remember to wear a hard hat when working at the ponds around the coconut trees. I heard once falling coconuts kill more people then sharks. Just before I left the ponds, I had a coconut fall to the ground about 2 seconds after I passed under the tree. Two seconds is not a lot of time to miss a coconut on the head. That would have been the second time a hard hat would have saved my life.
A pretty big spider
Late in the afternoon I headed to the grocery store for groceries. The road has a few places where running water has created some areas where it is no longer possible to bike through without getting stopped. I will have to wear my rainboots out to the village when catching a bus out to the city in the future. At least no rain today.
Yesterday I discovered a sore/rash on my knee. Today all the walking in sweat damp jeans kept rubbing the area making it worse. My cough had gotten a lot better by evening. I thought maybe the worst was over until right before bed I had another nonstop coughing episode.
Somehow this toad climbed to the top of my stairs
Life in the jungle: Orlando from the village and Joseph from across the river showed up this morning to help me finally build my greenhouse. I had never met Orlando before. Saul who has become a recent ally was the one who suggested we meet. I didn’t ask too many details but it would appear thanks to Jill there was a conspiracy to prevent or slow me down on getting my greenhouse built. I shake my head at all of it. I am slowly building a new network and happy to give my money to other people then to those who are abandoning me for no apparent reason. Orlando is an older gentleman and regularly works with Joseph. I have decided that I really like these two guys. We got the perimeter of the greenhouse laid out and 6 footing put in this afternoon.
At the end of the day, I had to run up to the hardware store for more rebar for the next cement footings. I also ordered most of the remaining lumber required for the greenhouse. I was also able to get my new post hole digger handles from Saul. I busted my post hole digger the other week. A long day, but hopefully a good day in the right direction.
First day of building my greenhouse
Life in the jungle: Orlando and Joseph showed up again this morning and we mixed and pored cement for 9 more footings. It was a hot day with no breeze. I was exhausted at the end of the work day but I forced myself to keep working and installed my new post hole handles and I planted my 3 Mulberry trees and 2 Gooseberry bushes around my yard after they left.
Day 2 of building my greenhouse
Life in the jungle: I started planting my papaya plants. Upon closer inspection of my papaya plants, I am actually quite worried about the health of these plants. Upon further online research I think the roots may have a type of fungus disease. It was a very humid morning and I returned to the house absolutely completely soaked in sweat. [My fears of the papaya plants would be confirmed by almost all of them eventually dying in the future.]
I skipped breakfast and went to the hardware store to pay for my lumber order. On my way home my rear tire blew out about a mile and half from the house. So, I had to push my bike the rest of the way home. About 5 minutes after getting home I got a call that buddy from the lumber store got stuck on the road. They were delivering my lumber with a 3 wheel motorcycle with a utility box on the back. I biked out on my other bike to help him get unstuck. After receiving the first load of lumber I still had no appetite for breakfast and was utterly exhausted. I laid out in my hammock until my second delivery arrived and then passed out in the hammock. At about 4 PM I woke up and I made some soup (because it was all I was in the mood for) and went back to the ponds and planted more papaya plants. I got one row and a bit planted before dark. The hardware store called me at 6 PM to tell me they would deliver the rest of the lumber Monday morning.
Bike tire blow out
I have so much work to do. I can’t afford to be exhausted. On a positive note, my chronic coughing has disappeared to only a random cough here and there.
Life in the jungle: The cough that I thought was leaving me came back with a vengeance last night and kept me up late last night. I woke up at 6 AM but fortunately slept until 10 AM to help make up for last nights lost sleep. After a late breakfast I planted papaya plants at the ponds. By the end of the day, I completed 2 more rows of plants. I only have 1 more row left. But I am still worried about how many plants will still be around next month because of this root fungus. The rain held off another day, but the mosquitos were horrible. I almost went through an entire can of mosquito spray today. Right at the end of the day I did a quick walk through of the coconut field to check on all the fruit trees that I planted the other week. Everything was looking good.
I saw a red cheeked mud turtle and a cat eyed snake in the yard today and a black tailed Cribo snake on the road.
A Facebook memory popped up. Twelve years ago, Tropical Storm Alex hit Belize in 2010 which I happened to be here in Belize for. That storm would actually knock down a good many of my mature trees in my front yard that night.
Red Cheeked mud turtle
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of words or people that may or may not be part of this blog post. This glossary will be at the bottom of every blog post for Belize.
Jack & Jill – These are my ex-property managers (names changed). They are Canadian, they introduced me to Belize in 1997, sold me their house in Belize in 2003, and rebuilt my house from 2014 to 2018. I have known them for over 30 years. After almost 20 years of me supporting their life here in Belize Jack decided quite unexpectedly to declare “war” on me right before Christmas 2021. They would end up stealing my business license and causing me a lot of grief. They live on the farm, but not on my land.
Wayne – He is the son of the original owners of the farm (both owners are deceased). The original farm was 2 – 30 acre pieces minus 2 – ¾ acre parcels for my house and 2 – ¾ acre parcels that Jack & Jill own which were all originally purchased from the original owners. In 2017 Wayne sold me 40 acres of land from the original 60 acres (30 acres plus 10 acres). Wayne lives in his parent house and has a few cows on his remaining 17 acres of land.
Orlando & Joseph – Orlando is an older gentleman from the village and Joseph is technically one of my closest neighbors living just across the river. These are the guys I now call on when I need construction help. They kind of work as a team but sometimes only or the other shows up when I call.
The ponds – I have 2 large (300ft long x 50ft wide x 10ft deep) ponds on my 30 acre parcel of land which is basically jungle. I have about 60 coconut trees (mostly mature) around the ponds. I have plans to plant a few hundred papaya trees here plus other fruit bearing trees around the ponds.
The coconut field – I have about 400 coconut trees planted (various growth states) on about 3 acres of cleared land of the 10 acre parcel. I plan to add various fruit trees to the same field as soon as I can.
The river lot – my house sits on a ¾ acre lot. I have a second joining ¾ acre lot that allows me river frontage on the Belize River. I call that my river lot.
The dry – Belize has 2 main seasons. The rainy season and the dry (no rain). The wet is obviously the rainy season.
Chopping – using my machete to clear brush and unwanted trees