January 29
Life in the jungle: Today was my Sabbath.  My day to do nothing but try to spend some time reading and of course a nap. Elton my bushhog guy did come first thing to finish cutting the coconut field.

Citrus blooms

January 30
Life in the jungle: I didn’t sleep great last night.  Yesterday afternoons long nap probably didn’t help.  This screwed up my morning.  Between sleeping in and making a few attempts on how to photograph one of the Speckled Racer snakes I caught the other day my morning was a write off.  On a positive I got a few good photos of the Racer.

Speckled Racer

Now that the coconut field is bushhogged I want to inspect all my trees in the field.  I basically spent the rest of the day (afternoon) chopping in the coconut field except for going to the ponds to water my papayas.  Things are really drying fast.

A Milky Tree frog

January 31
Life in the jungle: When the bushhog came the other day I had him cut the grass down my road.  What a difference between getting the grass cut during the dry season, the road is unrecognizable.  You would never know this road has been a muddy mess for the last 6 months.  I can practically see the 2 miles to the edge of the village.

Today was passport stamp day thanks to Belize Immigration not giving me a full 30 days when I returned from Guatemala last week .  My morning got screwed when neither my debit or credit card would work at the ATM.  A phone call to CIBC says there are no problems with my cards.  Attempting to solve a potential future online problem they are telling me I may not be able to do online banking in the future because I can’t receive verification text messages. All this hassle cost me missing the next bus to Belmopan.  One hour of my day wasted. Including my waiting time my imagination passport stamp took 8 minutes.  Someday Belize City Immigration will have to explain why it takes them an hour and a half to complete the same task.  Today I got a 2 month extension stamp as traveling outside Belize is a waste of money to get my 30 day extension and I decided months ago to not bother with a work permit.

The buses in Belize are (uncomfortable) retired school buses.  It doesn’t matter that it’s 7:30 AM in the morning.  They play the music at FULL volume.  I can’t imagine anyone on the bus wants music that loud on a bus at any time of the day let alone first thing in the morning.  That’s the thing about Belize.  No one considers anyone else and no one asks themselves if what they are doing even makes sense.  But playing the music at full volume is what they do.  (The ride is almost 1 and a half one-way to the city.)  Between the weekly bus rides.  Flushing $200 USD (for a 2 month extension) down the toilet at immigration just for the privilege of being in this country.  Having to take a severely overcrowded and loud 3:30 PM bus home. It’s a wonder I survive the month, the week, or the day. [Venting over.]

February 1
Life in the jungle: I spent a long morning chopping in the coconut field.  After a very late breakfast, I went to the village to find out about my internet connection and why I still don’t have a connection.  I couldn’t get a straight answer.  I asked that someone call me by end of the day with some kind of response but of course, none called.  Nothing changes here.

My prettiest Guava tree in my coconut field

In the afternoon I planted two of my four rows of papayas.  When I say planted, I mean replanted in holes or spots where papaya seeds either never germinated or baby plants were eaten.  I never anticipated having to replant seeds over and over each month.  And how often some insects attacks my plants.  Do these insects not have enough plants to eat other than my papayas?  The other month I planted a tray of seeds to transplant in these empty spots.  They were coming along nicely but somehow, they didn’t get watered while I was in Guatemala.  They didn’t die but I can’t transplant and use them yet either.

A male Brown Basilisk at the ponds

February 2
Life in the jungle: I started my day with an assortment of small jobs.  I had a small plumbing job but broke the piece.  I installed locking clips on my on-deck greenhouses.  Then I planted vegetable seeds that I bought yesterday in the village.  I planted some lettuce, cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, and bell peppers.  [Basically, nothing germinated.]  I then installed my new chicken coop door with the hardware purchased in the city the other day.  I finished digging my new garbage pit.

I wanted to plant more watermelon seeds in my watermelon greenhouse.  I am not sure why I am having no luck with planting in that greenhouse.  I had some cantaloupe plants that were looking awesome and then died.  I had one watermelon plant looking good for a while and then it crapped out.  I think it’s the dirt.  It’s topsoil but I think it has way too much clay mixed in.  The dirt is not loose by any means.  It’s more like cement.  Instead of planting seeds in the greenhouse dirt, I decided to plant some seeds in seed bags to start them.  I planted a few watermelons, a few cantaloupes and a few cucumbers.

From there I headed to the ponds to plant my last two rows of papayas and water them.  I also spent some time chopping at the ponds.  It had been a while since I last chopped at the ponds.  Returning to the house I cut some grass.  I am not planting any more trees (seedlings) until June when regular rainfall returns.  I attempted to photograph the second Speckled Racer snake I caught last week.  But he escaped on me trying to photograph him.

Land snail, Family: Orthalicidae, Genus: Orthalicus spp.

February 3
Life in the jungle: I started my day and spent most of the day mixing a bag of cement.  I completed the foundation for the apartment septic system.  I also had enough cement to put a cement floor in my watermelon greenhouse plus a few patches underneath the house.  There was a little rain but fortunately not enough to wreck the cement job.

Some cement work today [Apartment septic & watermelon greenhouse]

I cut the grass at the ponds and some more grass at the house.  Luckily the grass has been growing very slowly this last month and I only had to cut the front half at the ponds and just around the house (but not my whole yard).  So, my grass-cutting is complete.

I was trying to figure out what I was going to do tomorrow and then Saul showed up with the remaining lumber required for my chicken coop.  So, if it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I will finish that job.  If it rains, I will continue writing my book.

My Desert Rose bloomed white flowers from a recent pruned branch (???)

Belize Part 66 (Jan 24 to 28)

Belize Part 65 (Jan 18 to 23)

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’s house and has a few cows on his remaining 17 acres of land.

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 a 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 an 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, vines, weeds and unwanted trees.

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