Saturday, November 1, 2008

Drying Out

The Flooding of 2008, as the Belize media is calling it, seems to be over for the Cayo District, although serious flooding is still occurring in the Belize, Orange Walk, and Corozol districts to the north and east of here. Tom made it home on Saturday, and by the beginning of the week we were able to get in and out to the Western Highway without any trouble. The road crews have been very busy repairing washouts all over the country, from washouts like the ones between here and the Western Highway, and major washouts on the Western and Northern Highways. Spanish Lookout became accessible Thursday afternoon over the Bullet Tree Road, and just this weekend most of the low lying bridges are expected to finally be above the levels of the rivers.

Here are pictures of the washouts that prevented Tom from getting home last Friday night.

This is the culvert that washed out in Cristo Rey. You can see how far the water has eroded the road bed under the roadway.

This is the view from the top. The road drops off on the side that is flooded, so you can see that the washout under the road took out a pretty good chunk of support.

Just outside of Georgeville, a private road goes up the hill. The water came down that road and down the Georgeville Road in the flash flood mentioned in the article in the previous blog entry, and washed big rocks into the road, as well as a lot of loose gravel and a significant amount of mud.

Even when the flash flood subsided, water was still running down the road, covering it in many places. Tom said a lot of water must have been running down the hills to move the rocks he saw in the road.

The wet weather was pushed out of this area by a front that moved in from the north. We’ve had a very nice week with lots of blue sky and pleasantly cool temperatures only in the low 70s during the day, and the high 50s at night. We’ve had a little more rain just last night and today, but we’ve been able to get lots of outside stuff done this week. Tom and Selwyn finished putting up the fence to divide the back pasture into three paddocks, and we’ve started turning all six horses out to graze for a few hours every day since the ground is now dry enough that their hooves won’t do too much damage. Tom and Selwyn have also been nipping off the tops of the grass in the new pasture so we can get enough seed to plant the second half of the middle pasture and the front pasture. Selwyn seeded half the middle pasture before the rain started, and while the rain washed some of the seeds to low spots in the ground, it looks like some of it has taken and the front half of that pasture is starting to get green.

Selwyn also weed whacked the grounds, so it doesn’t look like we’re being overtaken by the jungle again. The camper is due to disappear this week. We sold it to some people in Bullet Tree and we were just about ready to deliver it when the rain started. We hope it’s finally dry enough this week that we can get it to where it should be.

A few weeks ago we planted coco in front of the guest cabin, and that has really taken off and makes it look like we’ve made at least a feeble attempt at landscaping. We’ll have to dig it up eventually, but then we can either plant something else, or, since it grows so quickly, plant some more coco. We planted it this time just because it does grow so fast, it will make the place look nicer for this year’s tourist season. I also planted a row of papaya seeds behind the coco, and to my surprise they sprouted.

Selwyn’s mother gave us a really good papaya a few months ago, and when I said how good it was she told me to save the seeds, dry them, and then plant them. When she gave us another papaya, I took out the seeds, washed them, and then put them on a plate on top of the refrigerator for a couple of months, stirring them around when I thought of it. They looked all moldy and dusty and I didn’t think anything would happen when I planted them, but they sprouted. We left some in front of the guest cabin, gave some of the seedlings to neighbors and friends who wanted them, and moved some of them to this spot where one of the big cages used to be and where we’re now planting different kinds of bananas along with the papaya seedlings.

Tom hasn’t worked with the boys from next door for a few weeks between being busy with guests and the wretched weather. Today, however, was dry enough that they’re out chopping property line. Tom says the boys (Ronald in the back row, Wilton and Hector in front) are doing a great job, and it’s a much more economical way than the way we originally got the line chopped through a very expensive contract with Bol, Selwyn’s dad.


sandy A. said...

I like the way the coco looks! They look like what we just call "Elephant Ears". Is it a bulb? do they just multiply on their own like elephant ears?
We have a bunch of elephant ears and they look good until about August and then they pretty much just burn up until the hot spell passes.

MoonracerFarm said...

We've been told that coco and elephant ears are the same thing. The plant grows from a big bulb, about the size of a pineapple, and then when the leaves die we dig it up, and in addition to the bulb that the leaves sprout from, there are a bunch of coco yams, which are like potatoes. You can use them however you would use potatoes, and they make a great soup. Then you replant the bulb and start all over.