Spring in Belize
A princess arrives
Observations on flora
When I said at first that this was the dry, hot season here
and not many flowers are blooming, the "not many" is
relative, of course. There are always bougainvillea, hibiscus,
various palms and all kinds of ground daisies. There are also
periwinkles blooming now, which are like impatiens only on taller,
stiffer stems. And April and May is blooming time for two gorgeous
trees -- the mayflower and the flamboyant. Both come in several
colors, but the mayflowers are usually pink and the flamboyants
usually orange or yellow. It's really spectacular to see these
splashes of color against the multi- colored greens of the jungle
hillsides. And since I've been riding
The orange flamboyant is my favorite, though. It is a large, spreading tree with blooms at the end of the branches that open before the leaves open. This tree, I think, is the reason that Spanish tile roofs look so right in the tropics. The tree has a canopy shape and if a house has a flamboyant tree planted nearby and sheltering the roof, the effect is almost exactly the same as an orange tile roof, although the tree is a brighter, clearer color, almost neon. Hence the name flamboyant, I suppose.
Actually, it's hard to sort out what some of the plants might really be from their names. For example, last year Laura told me she was making gooseberry wine, but the fruits weren't at all like any gooseberries I've ever seen. Well, they were round and light green in color. Then this year when I went plant shopping with Therese, she bought a plant listed as a crape myrtle that definitely was not. It was explained to me, though, that the Brits just named things with names they already knew if they were vaguely like the "originals." Lots of those names apparently stuck. (Come to think of it, the name mayflower is a little suspect, too, what with Columbus' ship name and all.)
Many of the fruits, though, they must not have bothered to name or they couldn't come up with anything they were like. There are all kinds of fruits that I can't even figure out what name they're telling me. And lots of fruits that have large pits and hardly any flesh, but they are gathered and sold in the markets, often as some kind of plum -- cocoa plum, dry season plum, Maya plum. Nothing really outstanding though and although I'll always try a sample, we pretty much stick to pineapple, mango, papaya and banana. And those lovely oranges for fresh juice. And who wouldn't?
Not feeling very inspired today, a touch of the tropical crud,
perhaps from sampling fruits in the market. More later.