These Leaf cutter Ants were caught red legged with our cashew leaves the other day! We had to get a camera before spraying our organic poison on them. In a spray bottle mix dish soap, dirt from the ant nest, and water around the base of the tree and on the leaves. This does the trick 90% of the time. Supposedly there is a Maya prayer for the other 10 percent? We have to learn that one!
For the fall equinox at Caracol in Belize, we had a German filmmaker stop by Lower Dover’s Maya site and talk with the family about life, December 2012, Belize, and the future…
Hope to write a blog about whats been going on lately. I promise I will post some pics of anything crazy if it happens. Good luck and be safe.
Spirit Airlines is offering what seems to be the best airfare to celebrate Baktun 14 with the Maya themselves. Witness and learn about the famous calendar from the people as a new beginning awaits in the foretold golden age of humanity!
These quotes are leaving on December 11 and returning December 24 for Christmas. Rates are round-trip to Cancun and include tax. Bag fees are excessive for Spirit as a means to keep fares low. Make sure to pre-book your bag when buying your ticket online ($20US online vs $45USD at the gate!) And the bag weights are to 40 lbs not the standard 50 with a harsh $25-50 USD fee for overweight items.
It is possible to take direct, over-night bus service via ADO from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum to Belize City as we wrote about here. (Roughly $40USD each way)
From Belize City it is an easy bus ride to Unitedville ($3 US) in order to reach the Maya site of Lower Dover.
Fare Rates to CANCUN R/T WITH TAXES!
$212: SF/Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Minneapolis
$242: New York (LGA)
$252: Boston, Detroit
Book here… www.spirit.com
On June 6, 2012 the transit of Venus was celebrated at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize, with the aid of Maya spiritual guide Don Beto Cocum. The transit is when the planet Venus appeared as a small, dark disk moving across the face of the Sun. Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable celestial phenomena and occur in pairs, eight years apart, which are themselves separated by more than a century: The previous transit of Venus took place on 8 June 2004 (preceded by a pair of appearances December 9, 1874 and December 6, 1882), and the next transit will occur December 10/11, 2117. So if you missed it this year you have to wait another 105 years!
It was a special moment for a number of reasons. First, the actual ceremony preformed by local Maya Yucatec decedent and spiritual guide, Don Beto Cocum, was also celebrating the full moon which took place immediately before the transit. Because the two dates coincided, we decided to go forth and celebrate both.
Also this was the first time Lower Dover formally asked permission, in the spiritual realm from the Maya gods, to disturb the ancient Maya’s rest. Since archaeology is dealing with the deceased, Lower Dover requested for the God’s favor in the excavations that were on going from the start of 2010. Perhaps this lack of acknowledgement was why so little progress had been made during the first two years. I believe the Maya spirits gave us a sign at the end of the dig season…more soon!!!
Don Beto Cocum, a Maya spiritualist second, and a true bush healer first, was very encouraged by the positive energy he felt at Lower Dover. Good news in a world void of much these days. He assured us the Maya spirits were in our favor and offered us no obstruction.
Unfortunately Mr. Don Beto passed away unexpectedly of natural causes, shortly after this event. Those in the Belize Maya community lost a very knowledgeable and well respected member. All of us at Lower Dover were definitely touched by his presence and grace in handling his craft and we will forever remember him for his kindness, patience, and for dedicating his life to keep the Maya culture alive today.
Fortunately we were able to get some of these photos for everyone to see how a Maya shaman sets up his full moon ceremony. Don Beto asked us not to film during his prayer session. At the closing of the ceremony he did individual blessings which we were able to capture. Rest in peace Mr. Don Beto Cocum and thanks for your help in Belize and at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge.
Last summer we noticed what seemed to be a Toucan’s nest in a Bullet Tree located on one of Lower Dover Jungle Lodge’s wide nature trails. Two large male and female Keel-Billed Toucans would regularly go in and out of a small notch located where the tree limbs meet the trunk about 35 feet from the ground. We decided to set up with our Flip video camera one evening to capture the bird in flight and this is what we saw.
We were never able to confirm baby birds in the nest, until today, one year later, in the exact same Bullet tree! There is a saying around here on the most copied blog in Belize…”No bird pic no bird proof.” These are the pictures of the baby bird sticking its head out of the nest taken this morning. This was easily one of the most memorable bird sightings and all around nature experiences ever witnessed at Lower Dover.
These photos were taken with a point and shoot and without a tripod. Guests of our jungle lodge don’t have to be professional photographers to get great bird shots. Now that the Toucans are back nesting on a yearly basis (fingers crossed!), Lower Dover Jungle Lodge guests will continue to witness top-notch birding opportunities when experiencing “Real Belize the Right Way!”