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Tom and Dale’s Great Adventure in Belize


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#1 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 03:57 AM

These pictures are of Dale Holton and my trip to Belize. We went to have a good time away and to find a new Zamia to photograph you’ll have to stay tune for more about that Zamia

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We flew into Belize City and made our way to the capital Belmopan where we stayed at a very nice B&B. Dale has a friend Lou Thomas that sell seeds that lives close to Belmopan that we plan to visit.

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This is the Southern Highway that we took to Belmopan it goes all the way to Punta Gorda and until recently it was mostly unpaved.

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Daris, Lou and Dale at Lou's house

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Pictures from the back porch…..

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Lou's delightful granddaughter

Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 03:57 AM.

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#2 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:06 AM

A walk arround Lou's place....
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going thru Lou's Tillandsias shade house

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#3 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:15 AM

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Cyrtostachys renda Lipstick Palm

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Lou's Driveway

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La Ruta Maya Belize River few hundred feet from the back porch

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wild Toucan at the back porch
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Look close you can see it....
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Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 04:16 AM.

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#4 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:24 AM

Traveling south to Punta Gorda
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Indian village along Southern Highway

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One of many Banana farm on the Southern Highway

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This is what the locals call a sleeping policeman; they are at the entrance and exit to every village.

Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 04:26 AM.

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#5 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:43 AM

This is one of the few Mayan ruins the we went to Nim Li Punit Ruin. For a small site it had a lot to see.
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Dale looking around, probably for Zamias he can find them everywhere! Like a blood hound…

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#6 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:46 AM

More of Nim Li Punit Ruin.

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#7 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:56 AM

Back on the road again to Punta Gorda and some more Indian villages along the way.

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I took a picture of this fire department for 2 reasons.
• You just never see fire trucks in these small towns, or the big one for that matter.
• And I thought that it was very cool how proud they are, just look at the signing. :D

Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 04:57 AM.

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#8 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:04 AM

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Dale had me stop: "I know that there's got to be a Zamia around here somewhere!"

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And he found one, blood hound i tell you!


We arived at Punta Gorda and what a beautiful evening!!!
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Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 05:05 AM.

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#9 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:14 AM

Picture50.jpg The next morning we woke up and explored the city park on the water across from our hotel.
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Picture from the roof of our hotel.

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Wild Orchids in the city park

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picnic pavilion

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Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 05:15 AM.

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#10 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:28 AM

Our search for the elusive Placentia beach Zamia prasina.

We were told that this Zamia could be found literally on the beach. We didn’t believe it, but had to see for our selves!

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Dale the blood hound at task























BINGO!!
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#11 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:36 AM

OK, so call me the doubting Thomas for not believing that the Zamia prasina would be on the beach……..

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A Zamia with a view!!

Now that we found it, on to Rum point.

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#12 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:41 AM

We stopped at Placentia Beach Resort for lunch, the food was great but the food was very good everywhere that we went. :drool: Sorry, I’m not one for taking pictures of food! :blink:

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#13 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:57 AM

Off we went to find Lubaantun Mayan ruins..
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#14 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 06:00 AM

more Lubaantun Mayan ruins..

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#15 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 06:01 AM

This is a map of the Mayan ruins

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#16 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 06:09 AM

Market day at Punta Gorda

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The fish house would have made a good picture, but there was a fight going on at the time and this is all I want to show of the butcher shop. :(
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#17 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 06:46 AM

On our way to Blue Creek. This place was set up as an eco-tour around 5 to 10 years ago, but no it abandoned. There seemed to be a lot of touristy thing that were in place around that time and it’s as if something happened that stopped the tourist coming. :( It’s sad because it’s a great place to go!!!!!

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We encountered another nice Indian village on the way.
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The path to Blue Creek

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#18 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 06:56 AM

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Bromeliad in the tree...

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It’s hard to see, but this is the local women do there laundry in the river. Every river that we went over or past we saw women doing there laundry, it’s a hard life!

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Swimming hole

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#19 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:02 AM

The beginning of Blue Creek is from a cave where it comes from the mountain, you go into the cave but we were unprepared (no bathing suit).

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Along the trail to the cave Dale said “I smell Zaimia’s, I just told him that we would wait until we see the cave.

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Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 07:06 AM.

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#20 George Sparkman

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:14 AM

Hi Tom,
great pictures of a great trip.
Is this the trip where Dale got the "Monster Furniture Piece" ?
Do you happen to have a ny pictures of "it" or others ?

Happy growing,
George Sparkman
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Happy growing,
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#21 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:18 AM

Dale was right, he did smell Zamia’s, a Zamia varigata, and this plant is worth the hike!!!! :drool:

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We also found a cool ferns of the path. Does any one know what this is?
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I worked up a mighty big thrust hiking the Blue Creek and was looking for a Beer (not easy to find in the boonies of Belize) and guess what we found.
































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You did not guess Guinness!!

Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 07:20 AM.

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#22 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:24 AM

Not one of the more “friendly” palms of Belize Desmoncus schippii. Try blazing a trail thru the jungle with these all over! They will make a preacher curse…

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#23 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:30 AM

Hi Tom,
great pictures of a great trip.
Is this the trip where Dale got the "Monster Furniture Piece" ?
Do you happen to have a ny pictures of "it" or others ?

Happy growing,
George Sparkman
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Yes it is, and yes I do. More too come to come, I have 230 pictures total. You may not know this, but I’m the one who talked him into getting it. :D
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#24 CardiffPalmNut

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 08:12 AM

Tom - great picture's it looks like a fantastic trip!
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Aloha!

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#25 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 08:36 AM

DuPlooy's Jungle Lodge
This is part of the DuPlooy's story from there web sight.
Becoming a Jungle Lodge
Originally the property, except for a few fruit trees around the house, was practically devoid of trees and other plants. Since the property consisted of 20 acres of cleared land, Ken was able to indulge his botanical leanings by planting hundreds of trees and plants and duPlooy's started on its way to becoming Belize's Premier Jungle Lodge.

The decision to have an organic property was made and the battle to control local pests by natural means was on until it was noted that if things were left pretty much to sort themselves out, not many plants were lost. As plants and trees grew quickly, very soon the property could provide habitat and food to attract the many birds and small animals that make their homes at duPlooy's.

Toward the end of 2010, the long-time dream to convert to solar power was realized. To continue the journey as the "Greenest" Lodge in the Jungle, and Belize's Premier Eco-Lodge, we constantly continue assessing our efforts toward environmentally sustainable tourism. (See environmental message for more information)



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Belize Botanic Gardens
In 1993 we were able to purchase eighty-two acres adjoining the original 20. Forty-five acres of this land was severely eroded former farm land and the restoration process was begun.

Hoping to do our bit toward conservation, a large number of native orchids and palms were collected and many tropical fruits were planted experimentally. In 1997, an Irish colleague suggested that, since all plants were collected by permit only and recorded; that we should register this property as a Botanic Garden., This was the beginning of Belize Botanic Gardens. The remaining 37 acres of pasture land was left to re-forest naturally and trails were cut for birding and horseback riding.

Belize Botanic Gardens is the only botanic garden in Belize and, as such, plays an active role in the conservation of native flora. We offer programs for both local and foreign students and travelers, as well as providing a place of beauty, education and recreation for visitors.

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#26 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 08:44 AM

More DuPlooy's Jungle Lodge pictures

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Toucan at DuPlooy's
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#27 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 09:24 AM

We decided to go to the famous Mayan Ruins of Caracol, here’s some information on Caracol.

Caracol is the largest Maya archaeological site in Belize, Central America. In AD 650, the urban area of Caracol had a radius of approximately 10 kilometers around the site's epicenter. It covered an area much larger than present day Belize City (the largest metropolitan area in the country of Belize) and supported more than twice the modern city's population. Urban Caracol maintained a population of over 140,000 people through the creation of an immense agricultural field system and through elaborate city planning. Caracol is noted not only for its size during the Maya Classic era (A.D. 250-950), but also for its prowess in war; this includes an AD 562 defeat of Tikal (Guatemala) and a subsequent conquest of Naranjo (Guatemala) in AD 631 (see timeline).

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OK, Caracol is an awesome place to go, but it does have some issues.

First off in 2006 there were 6 incidents where Armed Guatemalan bandits robed and raped tourist at gun point on the road to Caracol. This may have something to do with places set up for tourism looking like they dried up around 5 years ago. The government has now established and army base close to Caracol were they do exercises every day along the road to Caracol. They also have you sign in and sign out when coming and going to Caracol. This is all in the effort to keep off the do not travel list (US). With all this being said, we covered at least 2/3 of the country and never felt in danger (except when they made us sign in and sign out).

The second thing is that the “road” to Caracol is 40 mile of very rough dirt and rock road, and man I needed a drink after the journey!

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Our friends...

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Look at the size of that Attalea cohune, the little white spot in the middle id Dale. I’m guessing that it’s 70’ plus :mrlooney:

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\

Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 09:25 AM.

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#28 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:12 AM

more pictures of Caracol

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#29 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:32 AM

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This would be one of the other issues with Caracol.
The Dangerous Snakes of Belize

Among 56+ species of snakes found in Belize, our research could only find 8 that are considered dangerous to humans. While each of these snakes possess deadly venoms that can defiantly kill you, most aren't aggressive and would only bite if stepped on or threatened. The Fer de Lance is the exception, it is an aggressive serpent and will not hesitate to strike if disturbed.

Disclaimer:
We found sources that state there are 10 or 11 dangerous snake species in Belize, but they never named more than these 8. Some had Fer de Lance / Tommy Goff or Rhino Viper / Hognosed Viper listed as separate snakes when they are the same. One source listed a couple different Coral Snakes, but we could find no corroborating data. Please don't take it as gospel that these 8 are the only dangerous snakes in Belize.

It is possible that the Variable Coral Snake (Micrurus diastema) and the Middle American rattlesnake (Crotalus simus) are separate serpent species found in Belize. Most sources we found state that the Variable Coral Snake and the Maya Coral Snake listed below are the same serpent. It is likely that the Middle American Rattle Snake and the Neo Tropical Rattle Snake are also be the same beast.

Always be very careful around any snake.

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The Jumping Tommygoffs is in the Fer de Lance family but with a unique twist. The Jumping Tommy goff is one of the only snakes that can launch its entire body in the air for a strike. This is particularly disturbing considering that they were found on these really steep stairs which would put them at your face level. This is one of those things that Dale forgot to tell me about.

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#30 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:41 AM

They were actively involved in the restoration of the sight when we were there, this area was off limits for tourist but that didn’t stop us. We went right in like we belonged and acted as if we were inspecting the progress. :lol: It was interesting to see!!!

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#31 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:50 AM

More pictures of the Caracol restoration.

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Ceiba Cotton tree at Caracol
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Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 10:54 AM.

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#32 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:53 AM

Remember what I said “The second thing is that the “road” to Caracol is 40 mile of very rough dirt and rock road”, well way back I saw this sign and I swear that I heard the angels singing!! :yay:

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#33 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:17 AM

Dale and I then made arrangements for a boat trip up the Temash River that is part of the Sarstooth National Park. This is the journey to the small village of Barranco to hire the boat. This has to be done the day before because part of the arrangements is getting gas cans and bring the gas with us, there is no gas in the village. :huh:
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This is where Dale says “stop the car I smell Zaimias” so we stopped.

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Guess what he found?













...

Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 11:18 AM.

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#34 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:21 AM

Were you expecting this???
















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You guessed it – Zamia’s
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#35 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:25 AM

Were you expecting this???

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You guessed it – Zamia’s
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Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 11:26 AM.

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#36 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:32 AM

Harvesting the hard woods for the Chinese :angry:

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Guide Alvin’s office

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Guide Alvin and his boat

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What’s better than looking at palms in habitat? Taking a boat to get there! :D

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I think it’s going to rain.

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The trip begins…

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#37 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:40 AM

The Beginning of the Temash River.
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Up the Temash river with Alvin

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River monkeys (Howler monkies)

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#38 Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:50 AM

Can you see the palm?


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Manaicaria saccifera in habitat thru mangroves.

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This is the northern most latitude that you can find these Manaicaria saccifera in habitat.

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Me in a Manicaria saccifera grove
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Another cool fern that I found…

Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 11:52 AM.

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#39 Tomw

Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:56 AM

up the river...

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Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society Member (IPS Affiliate)
North Palm Beach

#40 Tomw

Tomw

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:58 AM

still going.....

Edited by Tomw, 19 October 2011 - 12:05 PM.

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Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society Member (IPS Affiliate)
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