Reptile Week in the Jungle
Updated: Jan 6, 2021
Jungle camp this week was jammed packed. We planned a hike or walk but we had some spontaneous adventures too. We also were patiently waiting for our baby hummingbird to fly. As we pass by the nest, we always take a peek to see the baby. We watch the mama stop by each day to feed him. We’ve watched his fuzzy feathers disappear and he changes right in front of us. I saw him in the nest Sunday morning as I walked to the restroom. A few minutes later, Inga and Larry were at the nest and found it empty. We scanned the trees to see him perched 2 feet above his nest. He alternated flapping his wings and grooming them. His mama flew down from a higher branch to feed him once. We were able to get a bunch of pictures before he flew off.
We spent one-morning hiking to the little mini waterfalls down the road about 1 KM. This was our third time going on this super easy walk/stroll through the jungle to a small creek. We were hoping that after our nights of rains, it might be flowing stronger. We are always looking for new creatures be it bugs, butterflies, flowers, trees, monkeys, birds or the illusive Boa Constrictor. I’m running out of time to see it!! I’m sorry to report that it was not super exciting so we counted it as exercise. On the bright side, there weren’t many mosquitoes. We still had pool time to look forward to.
Since we have been staying in Palenque for almost 2 months, we have gotten intimate with the road from our resort to town. It's 8 KM to the outskirts of town. We have rode our bikes down it several times (Larry more than me), walked it together but not all the way and I have jogged it….all the way! One afternoon, we set off down Carr. Zona Arqueologica Palenque (our road) for a discovery walk. That’s what we call them. As we pass the armed guards at the park gate, we always say, “Hola, Buenos Dias”. Right outside the gate, a homeless man sleeps/lives in a bus shelter. He has water, blankets, some personal items but I wonder how he gets food. He’s super thin. Up the road by the bamboo viverio in the cow manure puddle we found a group of Dark Kite-swallowtail butterflies. They were interested in the puddle. We watched them for a while. We figured that all might have just come out of their chrysalis.
Things are always shedding in the jungle. Leaves, flowers, seeds, branches, you name it. After storms, there is more to avoid while walking. We came across this blonde fuzzy seed pod and started goofing off with it. It made good mustaches. We were livening up the walk with our usual antics. When we were a little over halfway done with our water, we turned around. Very close to the end of our walk the best discovery happened. Some brown Jays got Larry’s attention in the tall trees lining the road. We looked up to see what it might be about. I heard something at the base of the tree and we walked over. We found a snake!! It was black and white, almost checkerboard looking. I really had a lot of confidence that it was not venomous but really had no clue. Larry saw that he had just started his meal of a large brown rat. Since his mouth was full, Larry used a long stick to bring him out of the bush. We watched him consume his kill. Quite interesting! When he was finished, we gently moved him back to his tree. Exciting and interesting!
That night we celebrated with pizza from a restaurant down the road. We ordered 5 pizzas to go. There were no customers at the restaurant and he needed some business. We tipped him very nicely because he was very nice. On the drive back, Larry dropped a pizza off for the bus stop man. He said, “Gracias” “Thank you”. I think he mostly speaks Spanish as I have heard him talking to himself as I jog by.
We invited Inga and Torben over to have pizza with us inside the Airstream. It was a stormy night with heavy rain and sporadic thunder and lightning. No eating outside. We enjoy hanging out with the last remaining campers. We spend each day in the pool from 3-5 with them. I think we all are feeling that the time we have together is coming to an end. We have promised to keep in touch and possibly meet up someplace in the world!
Our cat Gypsy loves to follow us around on the property. She will go up the hill to the last cabanas where we go to have dinner some evenings. We’ve seen Collared Aracaris and monkeys up there at times. When we go to the pool and lagoon, she will tag along but avoid getting close to the pool. On this day, she walked all the way around the pool. On the way back, she encountered a lizard. As she passed him, he dove into the pool. I knew that it was my turn to catch a lizard in the pool. I was fully prepared to jump in with my clothes. Larry and I skirted the sides of the pool. He came up right by me! When he turned around to swim away, I grabbed his tail and lifted him out after securing him behind his neck. Just like Larry does on Larry’s Lizard Corner! We took my little treasure back to show Inga and Torben. Torben was not interested in touching him but blew a kiss from a distance! LOL It was one of my best days ever!
Pool time is always fun. Sometimes we play catch with a foamy softball I got from Sonoma State University. Other times we mess around with my ice cream floaty and Larry’s modified surfboard/boogie board. He tries to balance when he stands on it. He’s been trying to figure out how to run and surf on it. This week all his efforts paid off. He was fabulously successful. (See video.) I just attempt to stay on it laying on my belly! We exercised and relaxed. We visited and ate dinner with our new friends. Fought mosquitoes and biting ants together! I hate to brag but this is the best Pandemic Jungle Camp Ever!