Life in the jungle: I went to bed late last night but I am now setting my alarm for 5:30 am. I have too much work to do and am only too eager to get the day started. I started my morning the usual way, chopping in the coconut field until my hands were too sore to continue.
This afternoon I discovered and killed a growing termite nest under my house. On my way to the ponds, I chased a 6-7 ft Black-tail Cribo snake off the road but was unable to catch him. This afternoon I also started (re)planting coconuts. I was able to get 16 good sized coconut trees planted. It’s more work than I remember digging the coconuts up and a lot of back and forth between the ponds and the field to replant them.
A Black-tail Cribo – an old photo from 2010
Collecting young coconut trees
Life in the jungle: I saw a squirrel on the property this morning. I don’t ever remember seen a squirrel in this area before? Today I transplanted 35 coconut trees. It’s tiring work. I am exhausted. I saw a beauty of a Red Rump tarantula on the road.
Red Rump Tarantula
Tonight, I am sleeping in my tent. I have guests that rented my home on Airbnb the night before I left Chetumal Mexico to head to Belize so the booking is as a private house. Because of a late flight arrival, they arrived at the farm at 8:30 pm. That worked out perfectly as their arrival coincided nicely for when I want to be heading to bed anyways. There was 6 of them so the house was pretty full.
I ran my Strava app while I transplanted 35 coconut trees
Life in the jungle: My guests left pretty early this morning which worked out great for me. Last night they went on a night walk down the road. When the howler monkeys started up, they got scared that they were hearing a jaguar but soon realized that it was impossible that they were surrounded by that many jaguars.
After cleaning up after my guests I transplanted 25 coconut trees and then I collapsed into my hammock to take a break and didn’t wake up until it was dark. Besides a very short rain shower this morning the weather was perfect.
Life in the jungle: This morning was a run to the city with Jack and Derrick. Jack needed some supplies for my water system and because he was going to charge me for going into the city anyways, I took a ride to get some lumber and groceries and cash.
I need lumber to put a door on my bedroom and I want to make a shade box for planting assorted seeds into seed bags.
My coconut trees appreciated a short rain shower this afternoon and then after getting back to the farm I planted 10 more coconut trees before dark.
*Disclosure – I have decided to rename my property names Jack and Jill because they will come up in future blog posts a few times and the entries are going to be a little bizarre at best. Derrick is a local in the village and is my one and only trusted allies who works for me on an occasion.
Life in the jungle: This was my first morning to waking up to rain – crap, I have so much work to do. I was able to dig out 11 coconut trees before Jack met me to go over assorted house maintenance procedures particularly water pump maintenance. These are all things that I need to know now that I am home and looking after everything myself.
In the afternoon I planted 17 more coconut trees working until virtually into the dark. At the ponds I seen a pair of Laughing Falcons. I only have a few more coconut trees to plant tomorrow. Except for the morning rain the weather continues to be perfect today. It started to rain just before 9 pm. That’s good for my recently planted coconuts.
Life in the jungle: It rained on and off throughout the night and I woke up again to rain this morning. Great for my coconuts. Not so great for the road. I planted my last 7 coconut trees. I did a quick count and counted that I transplanted 121 coconut trees in total in the last 5 days.
It rained on me while collecting coconuts and while planting the coconuts. After planting I went around all the newly planted coconuts and tied some flagging tape around a leaf so I can monitor them over the next few months and through the dry season.
After having lunch, I chopped around the ponds in preparation of planting papayas in the near future. Of course, I got rained on again. After a few hours of chopping I biked to the grocery store for supplies. My road is pretty muddy with lots of puddles. I saw really nice 6ft+ Black Tail Cribo snake on the road coming home.
Today Jack flew back to Canada for who knows how long if not forever. It is really nice that he is no longer here on the farm. This was at least a month earlier than he expected to return to Canada.
Life in the jungle: Another day of on/off rain, but mostly on. I was able to get a good piece of future fence line chopped along my coconut field.
After breakfast I tackled my hurricane shelter under the kitchen. It was filled with cobwebs, scorpion exoskeletons, abandoned termite tunnels and other dead insect matter. The new purpose of the hurricane shelter will be this will be my main storage area for all my tools
After lunch I had no choice but to collapse into my hammock. I am physically exhausted from my nonstop go-go. I started some planting bags for papaya seed but did not plant any seeds yet. It started to rain again towards the end of the day.
Once it hits dark at about 5:30 pm I usually do a bit of a wind down with an episode or two of Star Trek and make dinner. After dinner I might do a little computer work but I am often in bed by 9:30 pm now. Prior to arriving home, I thought for sure I was going to do all this writing but at the moment I find I have nothing to say and all my energy goes into my daily physical work. I am too exhausted in the evening to do anything but get ready for bed.
Life in the jungle: It rained very heavy last night. I started my morning as usual, chopping the far end of my coconut field. I am finally getting into the far corner of the field. I had an amazing situation this morning that I found a small red eye tree frog. This is the first red eye tree frog I have found in the wild.
My first ever Red Eyed tree frog
I was able to get a laundry done and then I discovered a branch had fallen on my container of kerosene fuel and cracked the container. I use kerosene to help burn my garbage. On my way to the gas station, I spent over 4 hours draining water off the road. With all the rain the last 3 days the road is a mess.
Draining rain water off the road
I ran into Jill (my one property manager) on the road while I was working on it. She proceeded to mostly yell at me and insult me for being single. Jill is 74 and is upset that Jack is gone back to Canada.
I was able to get a bunch of salmon colored hibiscus cuttings from Verna Mae in the village. I hope that I can grow them into plants. This evening right before dark I planted 4 what I assume are lime trees in my yard. They were growing in bags on my patio for who knows how long.
Luckily the rain held off all day, if only it was hotter the road might dry out faster.
Life in the jungle: I started the morning as usual, chopping a future fence line in the coconut field. I did another laundry and then I planted 7 mahogany seedlings in my coconut field. The mahogany seedling were also sitting on my patio for who knows how long.
Some assorted baby trees that need planting
While the wash machine was running, there was a short but heavy rain shower. The rest of the day was sunny but not really hot. Fingers crossed that the road is starting to dry up.
This afternoon I cleaned up under the house. I discovered termites in a section of plywood that is a wall of the hurricane shelter.
Life in the jungle: This morning as usual I started by chopping in the back of the coconut field. Exhausted afterwards I collapsed into my hammock for a few hours. There was a short rain shower. This afternoon I planted 75 papaya seeds in seed bags. I also took a walk to the ponds and collected a small wheelbarrow load of freshly fallen coconuts. I collect all my fallen coconuts because my Belizean neighbor that lives here on the farm has stolen them in the past. You can’t steal what isn’t lying around.
Newly planted papaya seeds
Except for the short rain shower the weather was perfect. But I needed it hotter to dry the road. I have Airbnb guests arriving tomorrow. After super I did house work until 11pm.
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 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.
Nery – a local in the area that helps me with certain projects when needed. A very knowledgeable guy originally from El Salvador. He teaching me a lot about farming and tree.
Derrick – a local in the village that helps me with certain projects when needed. Mostly he helped early on after my arrival to Belize. He doesn’t help me so much into the future.
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
The dry – Belize has 2 main seasons. The rainy season and the dry (no rain)
Chopping – using my machete to clear brush and unwanted trees