As the snow is melting and everything is dripping in the US Northeast where we came from, everything here in Belize is in the process of drying out. Everybody here says that the hot and dry season is late this year since we’ve still had relatively cool temperatures and intermittent rain up until the past few days. Suddenly, we realized it hasn’t rained in close to a week, and the temperature has been turned up dramatically – like from the low 70s up to the high 80s to mid 90s. That’s a shock to the system, even for people like me who like the heat! We heard the cicadas for the first time this year last week, and the leaves are falling off the trees and everything is turning brown. Of course we don’t get the brilliant change of colors that we loved in NY, but we can suddenly see farther into the bush and different bird species are being sighted in the area as the migratory birds head north and our summer residents move back from where ever they’ve been.
We even have a nest of Golden Olive Woodpeckers in one of the trees just outside the yard, so we’re keeping an eye on them as the babies grow. I’ve seen them a few times, although never with camera in hand – but I intend to keep trying to get a picture. People sometimes ask if we miss the seasons here, and the answer is honestly “no” because even though we don’t get the same seasons as we had in the Northeast, we still have seasons. It will be hot and dry and brown now until the end of May or beginning of June, then it will rain and everything will turn green overnight. The seasons are sort of out of order – we’ll get fall, then summer, then spring – but the refreshing feeling of moving into a new season and watching Mother Nature change her clothes is still here.
We had a reminder of what we’re in for with the dry season earlier this week. The Belize Defense Force and the British Army have been doing maneuvers with live rounds up in the Mountain Pine Ridge for the past week, and they started a forest fire that got out of control. One day last week it looked like the sun was setting at about 1:30 in the afternoon as it was shining through a yellow-orange smoke cloud. The next morning, the first sense that registered as I woke up was the smell of pine smoke because the smoke settles with the dew in the morning, and everything looked misty. The smoke seems to have dissipated over the past couple of days, so we’re hoping the fire is out and that we won’t have any more at least until the end of the dry season.