Belize Diary

Non-Dangerous Flora

It’s not all dangerous, and when you can find it the natural world provides you with so much beauty that isn’t out to get you.


Black orchids

Orchids grown at Chan Chich Taken with the Pentax Optio S4. Click for bigger picture

This photo was taken when some of us went away for an evening at Chan Chich, but you can find orchids all over the place (if you know where to look; read Susan Orleans’ The Orchid Thief to find out more).

Part of Programme for Belize land (not the Field School part) contains a series of trails called “The Medicine Trail” where you can see lots of medicinal plants. In addition, there’s also an “Orchid Trail” that Nicole Osswald told me about — apparently it’s particularly fantastic at dawn & dusk (when orchids are wont to bloom).


Big trees!

Not all trees are saplings: Your host & Julie Saul provide a sense of scale. Taken by Jenny in 2003 with a Canon Elph. Click for bigger picture

One of the last days we were at the PfB in 2003, Julie Saul provided us with a little tour of the PfB’s Medicine Trail. There is evidence of Maya civilisation within its environs, too (where isn’t there?), but the emphasis here is on the natural world. The non-Field School section of the PfB is apparently a haven for eco-tourists. In fact, the last night we were in BZ in 2004, we came across a truck full of them, with a spotlight, looking for animals roaming among the trees.

In any event, this photo is meant to provide some idea of the scale of some of the trees here. I can’t recall what kind of tree this is (remember, I’m just taking photos, I’m not your fount of wisdom), but it may be mahogany, little of which is left in the world.

And yes, my hair is dyed grey. Back in the UK it’s spiked, but hair products just don’t achieve the same hold down in the jungle.

Roots: Watch where you’re walking

Big roots

Are my roots showing? Ray provides a sense of scale. Taken by Jenny in 2003 with a Canon Elph. Click for bigger picture

A lot of trees snake their root system, at least partly, above-ground. This is a picture taken on one of the trails leading from Group F to Group G on the Dos Barbaras site (there’s a hint of Yoav stomach in the background), and I’m providing a sense of scale for these things. They’re huge!

These trees are all around in the rain forest, although I have to say that this one is somewhat larger than most I came across. According to Julie Saul, you should be careful when you step over the root: all too often there’s a snake sunning itself on the other end, and it’s a nasty way to corner a creature taking a sun-bath.

More flora