Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Belize Zoo...

      Mrs. Barbara Thummalapally, the wife of the USA Ambassador to Belize, Mr. Vinai Thummalapally, feeding "Panama," the Harpy Eagle. This wonderful story and other details of the "best little zoo in the world" can be found on The Belize Zoo website.
      The zoo is at mile 29 when you are traveling from Belize City to Belmopan... about a 30 minute drive.    Although not big... it has some of the most interesting animals you will find in any zoo in the world.  If you get the chance... don't miss it!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Birds of Belize... 101 and more

I just became aware of a book that I suspect will appeal very much to the birders coming to Belize for the huge diversity of species to add to their list of sightings.    
Read the great review and order it here from the Belize Audubon Society.
From the product description on Amazon (referring to an earlier edition)...
"This is a first-class book that will enable users to identify any bird they encounter in Belize." --Victor Emanuel, President, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. 
...With nearly six hundred identified species of birds--and an average of five "new" species discovered annually--Belize is becoming a birding hotspot for amateur and professional birders from around the globe. Thousands of birders visit the country each year to enjoy Belize's amazing abundance and variety of both temperate and tropical birds in natural habitats that remain largely unspoiled. But until now, despite the growing need for an authoritative identification guide, birders have had to rely on regional field guides that offer only limited information on Belizean birds. Birds of Belize provides the first complete guide to the identification of all currently known species--574 in all. The birds are grouped by families, with an introduction to each family that highlights its uniquely identifying characteristics and behaviors. The species accounts include all the details necessary for field identification: scientific and common names, size, plumage features, thorough voice descriptions, habitat, distribution, and status in Belize. Full color, expertly drawn illustrations by noted bird artist Dana Gardner present male and female, juvenile and adult, and basic and alternate plumages to aid visual identification throughout the year, while 234 range maps show the birds' distribution and seasonality in Belize. A comprehensive bibliography completes the volume.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sunrise at The Maine Stay - Belize

As many of these as I take... they never get boring!

See this and other photos on The Maine Stay Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Belize Big Cats and Great Blogs...

Lisa has spent time in Belize several times. Read some excellent posts on her current visit to Belize in her "Left Coast Cowboys" blog.  Good Stuff!

Photo: Marcus Obal, Wikipedia.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Belize Hibiscus

With blossoms more than six inches across... this particular Hibiscus (hybrid) bush is gorgeous when it blooms.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Belize in Top Ten...

BERKELEY, Calif., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Are you the kind of traveler who wants to have a great time AND feel good about where your travel budget is going?
"There's no doubt that worldwide interest in mindful, responsible travel is growing - not only among travelers, but within the countries that host us," says Jeff Greenwald, executive director of Ethical Traveler and co-author of the report. "Now is the perfect time for savvy travelers and well-intentioned governments to evolve together, each encouraging the other. This is especially true in the developing world, where travel and tourism can be developed as lucrative, low-impact alternatives to forestry, mining, and the destruction of ocean habitats." 
In alphabetical order, the best ethical travel destinations for 2010 are:
South Africa
"In drafting our report, we use scores of information sources -- including publicly available data -- to rate each country's genuine commitment to environmental protection, social welfare and human rights," says Christy Hoover, co-author of the report. "Data sources include the United Nations Development Program, Human Rights Watch, Columbia University, Reporters Without Borders, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and many others. Private interviews with NGO leaders are part of the process, as well."
The full report can be viewed at Traveler is an international alliance of travelers who believe that travel is a powerful tool for international goodwill and cultural understanding. The group seeks to harness the political and economic clout of tourism to support human rights and the environment. Ethical Traveler is a project of the Earth Island Institute. More information:  SOURCE Ethical Traveler © 2009 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Belize Rescue Dogs!

Our latest addition to the pack, Taco, seems to be getting along quite nicely with Bowdoin! Taco is about 10 months old and he is a black and white male Chiuaua mix.

Bowdoin is a very local rescue... as a tiny scrawny puppy (look here for the story and photo) she wandered down the main Peninsula Road and in to our yard and said "can I stay here?"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bare Back Yard - NOT!

Our back yard was bare 4 years ago! See top photo. There was one small ficus tree and a few plants. Well, we got busy and planted like crazy. Along the back fence we planted a bunch more ficus and also scattered citrus trees. We even planted a breadfruit tree. When the road got paved we had to remove some grass from the front yard, so we used that sod to make pathways in the back yard. Now we are removing some things... it's getting so overgrown! The ficus trees are 25 or 30 feet tall, and the citrus trees are too close. The breadfruit had to go! One thing you don't have to worry about in Belize, is landscaping... it's easy and quick.

Beach morning in Belize...

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