Sunday, January 22, 2012


Then we took a bus through the Maya Mountains . . .

to the lovely southern beach town of Placencia.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

the Belize Zoo

How much time do I have to convince you this is the most extraordinary zoo in the Americas? How many pictures can I post?  . . . Oh, well, these few will suffice to give the flavor.

First, here's where we stayed in a tarp-covered screened hut in the woods:

This sign near the zoo entrance sets the stage:

Then there was the Crested Guan Coholito:

the Jabiru Stork:
and the crocodiles, oh my! We thought they were concrete models at first - one even had a few leaves lying in his open mouth.

a coatimundi:

harpy eagle:

and last, but definitely not least, jaguars:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


And at the end of the boat ride . . .

the incredible, almost totally deserted Mayan ruins of Lamanai - "Submerged Crocodile".

up the (New) River

I LOVE Belize.

I love everything about it - funky multi-culturalism, ecological sensitivity, cheerful nationalism, old school-buses, fresh vegetables, the Mayan sites, the wildlife, the mountains, the beaches . . .
Oh - wait - the beer sucks.

But that's it. I love everything else.

Our first stop was in the town of Orange Walk, a day's drive south of Vallodalid, where we had stayed to visit Chichen Itza. From Orange Walk, we took a boat ride up the New River to the FANTASTIC, serene, and almost deserted Mayan ruins at Lamanai.

And on the boat ride, we saw

golden iguanas

weird birds (forgot the name)


and zillions of monkeys.

Chichen Itza

It was difficult to find interesting photos that weren't full of tourists. I've wanted to visit this site for years and really wish I'd gotten a chance before now. Gone are the days when you could watch sunrise from atop El Castillo.

The place was crowded and insanely commercial. The iconic temples were roped off and surrounded by guards. At one point, I counted twenty-seven large touring buses in the parking lot - engines idling for the air-conditioned comfort of the driver, of course, creating even more smog and heat. Here a a few of the quieter, more evocative corners.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Florida and Texas

Gulf Islands National Seashore on a blustery day. I shoulda taken a picture of our tent!

A house at Pensacola Beach, Florida. The rest of the neighborhood was normal.

Where I grew up. Beaumont, Texas All the trees in the backyard came down in Hurricane Rita.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


The setting for my WIP needs to be a Spanish-speaking location, a small country with a recent civil war and a government rife with corruption.

So I set it in Central America. While I was writing, I based the scenery and general feel for the environment on my experiences in Mexico as a child. Now, I want to ground myself in more specifics, so . . . I’m going to Honduras and Guatemala this winter!

Also to Florida, Texas, Mexico, and Belize – but that’s (in the first two cases) family obligations and (in the last two) just plain vacation.

Leaving chilly New Hampshire the day after Christmas.