Saturday, April 22, 2017

A visitor

The hummingbirds were making a fuss in the tangerine tree outside the dining palapa, so I went to see what was bothering them, expecting a snake. Instead, it was this tiny Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Baby pineapples have...!

I never knew baby pineapples had pretty little purple flowers until I took a look at this one growing outside my kitchen.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Not the usual wasp nest

We sat down to lunch yesterday, wondering what this ball of ceiba fluff was doing on the table.  Our question was soon answered when this wasp showed up carrying a small ball to add to the pile, and then crawled into the nest.

#belizenature #belizeecolodge

Friday, March 31, 2017

Snake & Ground Dove

I was baking brownies in my open kitchen and heard a fluttering in the bush. Upon investigating, I found this snake had caught a Ruddy Ground Dove by the neck, and as I watched it proceeded to try to eat it, head first. The bird must have been too big, because after no progress for a considerable time, the snake dropped the body of the bird and disappeared into the trees. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

We really are pet friendly. Ask Leo!

Here's Leo, a Welsh Terrier from London on an overland expedition from Alaska to Antarctica with his people Monica and Jake, to tell you that Moonracer really is pet friendly. We even trade sausages for tricks!

#petfriendly #belizeecolodge

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Annual Cortes Tree Photo

We are on the middle day of the three days a year when our spectacular Cortes tree blooms. This is our 11th Cortes photo, and I think the first one where the sky behind it hasn't been blue...but we are not complaining about a little extra rain as we head into the dry season. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Welcome Red!

Introducing Red, the newest Moonracer misfit!  She came to us via the Belmopan Humane Society, who rescued her after she was abandoned when her owner was killed last summer. She is mostly blind and will need surgery on her eyes, but she is sweet as can be, super cute, and oh so soft and lovable. She gets along great with Jalis and Kiss, enjoys our 4-mile walks every day, and is pictured here studying Zana the cat, mostly with her nose...which hasn't yet been scratched by the sharp and pointy. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lots of Hummingbirds!

Our most recent adventure was hanging hummingbird feeders in our dining palapa, at the recommendation of almost all of the many birders who have visited over the last few months. They have been an astounding success, and we have, to date, recorded 8 different types of hummingbirds.  They are fearless little creatures, and are fascinating to watch up close. 

#BelizeBirds #belizeecolodge

Sunday, February 19, 2017

National Flower of Belize

Right here, right now, the black orchid, national flower of Belize, blooming in our yard.

#nationalflowerofbelize #belizeecolodge

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

An Old Corner

Julio and Tom have been trying to flatten a dirt area for more parking.  They found one dirt bump that refused to be flattened, so Julio went at it with a pick ax, assuming it was a rock under the ground. As he chipped off the top layer, he realized that the bump was made of dry laid stones at right angles, probably the corner of a Maya structure buried over the years. We have found a number of artifacts in that area, so this was not too much of a surprise, but still interesting. 

#backyardarcheology #remotejunglelodge #MoonracerFarm

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A beautiful visitor

This beauty dropped in for a visit the other day. We are not sure if the chicks were the attraction, but once we and our guests crowded around with cameras, the snake retreated to the tops of the trees and made its way back towards the jungle. I was hoping it would stop and clean the varmints out of the thatch on my kitchen, but it disappeared. 


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Birders Welcome!

Saturday night, we were lucky to host a birding group here at Moonracer Farm.  This first Birding Big Day covered the Mountain Pine Ridge, and we are the perfect staging area. Roni Martinez described the Big Day, as well as supplying the following photos:

The first of 12 Birding Big Days to cover Belize in 2017.  Our 15 participants were from all over the country.  Orange Walk, Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek Districts.  Plus from Peten Guatemala.  105 species in 11 hours of intense Birding. Including: Chestnut-collared Swift, Stygian Owl, Orange-breasted Falcon, Cabanis's Wren, Barred Forest-Falcon, White-winged Tanager, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Lovely Cotinga and Ornate Hawk-Eagle.  Thanks to the Belize Audubon Society for inviting past Bird Guide students and helping with logistics.

It was great fun to sit in the background and listen to a group of people who are passionate about what they are doing. Besides learning a lot about the local birds, we were inspired by the energy of the group. We hope to see more of everyone in this group in the future!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Clearing the Property Lines

Every year about this time, as the rainy season wanes and the dry season approaches, we realize we need to clean our property lines. A few of our lines border farm fields, and we have learned the hard way that after the farmers harvest their crops, they burn the fields, and if our lines aren't cleared during the dry season, the fires will run on to our property. It is hard work with lots of dead fall, especially after a year with a hurricane, as well as very tall and sharp grass. But, a chance wildlife encounter with a boa, as well as the peace of mind that we won't be battling a forest fire in a few months, makes it well worth it.

Property line, before clearing, with the farm field to the left.

Clearing part way through the tall grass.  That's Julio at the end with the grass over his head!

Boa in the grass

Boa being safely relocated, jungle side

Cleared property line looking the other way

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Natural Ornamentals

We are planting local ornamentals around the casitas, and to keep the jungle feel real, Julio went into the jungle to see what he could find growing there naturally. Among a whole pack of beautiful plants were these two orchids.

#belizeorchids #belizeecolodge #MoonracerFarm

Sunday, January 15, 2017

San Ignacio - San Antonio bus schedule

Updated February 28, 2017

Buses between San Antonio and San Ignacio run Monday through Saturday.  No buses on Sunday.

Depart San Antonio to go to San Ignacio



Depart San Ignacio to go to San Antonio



* These are Mesh Line buses, and depart from the parking lot next to Western Dairies rather than the bus stop in the park

#belizejunglelodge #busschedule #MoonracerFarm

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Pizza & Jaguars

Dr. Marcella Kelly of Virginia Tech and her team of jaguar researchers joined us for a pizza party and presented an overview of their research in the Mountain Pine Ridge to our guests. The jaguar researchers loved the pizza, and our guests loved both the pizza and the presentation, and we all had a great time. 

#MoonracerFarm #ecolodge #wildlifeconservation

Friday, January 6, 2017

Another Anole

When Julio yells for me to grab a camera, I don't even ask what he sees, I just get a camera and run. This morning it was this beautiful green lizard, which we have tentatively identified as a Neotropical Green Anole based on the Julian Lee book.  The book says they are uncommon, which they may be...or maybe we just don't see them.

#belizenature #travelbelize #BelizeJungleLodge #MoonracerFarm

Monday, January 2, 2017

MRF is an ebird hotspot!

We've been a hotspot on ebird since May, but with H. Lee Jones' recent visit, we have jumped to a yellow balloon with 153 species. Not surprising, with Green Hills Butterfly Ranch and Mountain Equestrian Trails, both major birding hotspots in Cayo, just a mile down the road, and we hope that more birders will visit us and expand our list!

#ebird #MoonracerFarm #RemoteJungleLodge #BelizeTravel

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Paths and Progress

All roads lead to Moonracer Farm!  Our efforts over the past couple of weeks have been to improve our entrance, parking areas, and paths. We added flowers under our sign, parking pads for guest vehicles, and a clear winding path through the jungle to the Cohune Camping Casitas. 

#MoonracerFarm #BelizeJungleLodge

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hummer Rescue

i heard a buzzing sound and looked up to see this poor little hummingbird with his bill stuck in the screen. I quickly snapped a photo, then gently pushed his bill back through the screen. He cheeped his thanks, I tickled his feet, and off he flew.
#belizenature #MoonracerFarm

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Survey markers

Our road is being surveyed to be paved. The surveyors marked some of the pins with traditional surveyors' tape, but they seem to have run out at some point. 

#belikin #lifeinbelize #MoonracerFarm

Friday, December 9, 2016


We've never seen a gecko like this before.  When we released it on a tree, we realized why!

#belizewildlife #remotejunglelodge #MoonracerFarm

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Living in an archeological site

As kids in NJ, we always kept our eyes open for Lenape artifacts such as arrowheads, and because we rarely found them, it was always very exciting to find something. Here, our house is in the shadow of a Maya ruin - which we actually use as a water tower! - and we often find artifacts such as these just turned up in the dirt.  Despite the fact that all of Belize is covered with artifacts and ruins, we still get super excited when we find something. 
#mayaarcheology #belizeadventure

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How our guests find us...or we find them

Since we added the new Cohune Camping Casitas, we have been doing a lot of research about how our guests find us.  A few years ago, the answer was almost always "TripAdvisor," but TripAdvisor seems to have misplaced us and thinks we are in southern Belize, so we aren't getting many visitors who find us that way.  We have put listings on,,, and are working to keep our Google pages up to date.  Recent guests have found us through a number of non-traditional ways such as when they are looking for a particular bird which happens to have sightings near us, random YouTube videos that mention us, referrals from other local businesses, or luckily having us triangulate into the center of various sites a guest wants to see.

This past weekend, we did it differently; we found the guests!

We had blocked out Thanksgiving Day and the day after so we could do a rare overnight and spend some time with friends in the Mountain Pine Ridge.  We had a great holiday despite the torrential rain, and decided on Friday afternoon that we should try to get home so we didn't have to drive on the slippery, muddy, rain-drenched roads in the dark.  As we were coming through the gate to the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, a couple of very wet, obviously in distress tourists flagged us down.  We stopped to see if we could help, and they explained that they were stuck in the mud on the fire road, about ten minutes' walk from the gate.

We always carry our tow rope, and we have decent tires and four wheel drive, and we had a pretty good idea of where they were stuck, so Dan and Catherine hopped in the pan of the truck and we headed down the fire road.  The friends we had been visiting had said that they had taken the fire road fairly recently, and that it had been cleared and improved since Hurricane Earl, and that it was very passable...but they had done it in the dry weather.  On the flat, the road wasn't too bad, but as we came around a turn and could see where they were stuck, we realized that they were on a slight incline, and that the road had been recently "improved." This improvement resulted in lots of loose dirt forming small banks on either side of the road, which had turned into deep mud pits which sucked their vehicle off the road and into what became a fairly deep ditch.  Jeff and Janese, the other couple in the car, jumped out as they saw us approach and warned us not to get too close.

We found out that they had already been stuck once, but by the time they realized how bad the road was they were down a hill that would have been impossible to climb in their vehicle in those road conditions.  They had taken the fire road rather than the Chiquibul Road because their GPS made both roads look like the same type of road, and the fire road route is shorter.  Lesson learned in how much you should trust a GPS!

We stayed as far from them as the length of our towrope allowed, and hooked up.  Our truck was on a flat enough spot that we could get some traction and managed to move them forward, but they were too far down the muddy bank for our truck to pull them back up to the firm part of the road.  Tom decided to unhook and head home to get another tow chain so we could be on a firmer and flatter part of the road to pull.  It was a good theory, but as he started to back up to a place where we could turn around, the mud created by our spinning tires pulled our truck into the mud bank.  Not wanting to end up as deeply in the ditch as the first car, we decided to walk out and get back to Moonracer to get the tools needed for the extraction of both vehicles.

We were lucky, and got a ride from the gate, despite being wet and muddy.  We loaded picks and shovels, a come-along, and more chain into the Honda, and headed back up the road.  We parked the Honda at the gate - we didn't need three stuck vehicles! - and carried our tools in to the mudpit with the intention of winching our truck out and back to the flat and then trying to pull their car out of the mud.

It was a good plan, except the cable in the come-along, which we hadn't used in a while, had somehow become jammed and wouldn't pull off the spool.  We did a quick bit of brainstorming to figure out how to get out, but it was raining harder and harder, and rapidly changing from gloomy dusk to full-on dark of night.  Tom asked if they had anywhere they had to be that night or the next morning, and if they had whatever they needed to spend the night, and offered to cram everybody in the Honda and overnight at Moonracer, and worry about getting the trucks out of the mud in the morning.  The offer was eagerly accepted, and the six of us waded through the mud, getting deeper by the minute, and back to the Honda.

Each couple took a casita, and really appreciated the hot shower.  We were glad we had made a decision to add the water heater to the shared shower!  I threw together a quick dinner, which wasn't the normal Moonracer Farm fine dining experience we try to deliver, but a hot meal was much appreciated, and was far superior to spending the night in a stuck-in-the-mud XTerra eating granola bars for dinner.  We called the hotel where they had planned to stay and said not to expect them.  Best of all, we all made new friends and sat around the table talking until after 10PM, with them fascinated by our life in Belize, and us equally fascinated by their life on a ranch in Utah.

Saturday morning, the rain had stopped, and Tom got on the phone and tracked down a tractor.  One of our neighbors, Edgar, was more than up for an adventure, and met Tom and Jeff at the end of our driveway shortly after 8AM.  Tom and Jeff jumped on the tractor and headed up the road, while the rest of us stayed at Moonracer and ate breakfast.  Tom said getting our truck out was relatively simple, but even the tractor had a little trouble with the XTerra, which validated our decision to admit defeat and retire to Moonracer the night before.  Even with the difficulty, Tom and Jeff were back within an hour, so they were also able to enjoy a hot breakfast.  Tom, Jeff, and Dan hosed the bulk of the mud off the XTerra, we exchanged contact information so we can keep in touch, the the four of them loaded up and headed out to continue their Belize adventure.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The other kind of toucan

We have had a lot of toucans around the property lately, including these aricaris, which are smaller than the keel-billed toucans...although they make more noise!


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Our national trouble!

Made an unplanned trip to the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic this afternoon to deliver this unfortunate toucan found on the ground under our banana trees.  It was alert - and biting! - but its legs didn't work and it couldn't fly. We threw a towel over it, wrapped it and put it in a box for the trip. The toucan was asleep when we got there, but woke up and started snapping again when the vets tried to take a look.  They didn't find any immediate problems, but we left it there, in good hands, getting ready for X-rays and a full exam. Hoping for the best, and updates to follow. 

#belizewildlife #nationalbirdofbelize #remotejunglelodge

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Just a mile down the road...Green Hills Butterfly Ranch

The Green Hills Butterfly Ranch is just a mile down the road from us, so it's easy to get there early enough to watch the butterflies emerge and dry their wings, as well get the whole butterfly tour and see the hummingbirds. It's a good start to a day of adventure!

#belizenature #belizeadventuretravel #remotejunglelodge

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Subtle Beauties

We are surrounded by so much stunning beauty every day, we sometimes forget to look at the less blatantly beautiful things.