Stone Faces and Strangler Figs

The branches above us sway under the  weight of the howler monkeys; they shriek to each other in outrage as their territory is invaded.

We brush past copal trees, inhaling the  sweet scent of incense which has followed religion in Belize throughout time; once used to beckon Mayan gods responsible for sun or rain, now used most commonly in the Catholic church.

Stone faces topped with jaguar headdresses watch our procession to the Mask Temple of Lamanai.

Though we are transfixed by the art and  architecture of the Mayan site, we still keep a careful eye and account  of the ecology of Orange Walk. Upon the river are great blue herons, lesser night hawks, and jesus birds- so called for their appearance of skimming the surface of the water. Among the ruins stand the strangler fig- seeming to overtake more space here than we have seen previously,  rubber tree, Guanacaste, grande betty, and fiddle wood.





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The Jaguar Temple of Lamanai.
A detailed look at the Olmec face and jaguar headdress of the Mask Temple.
A strangler fig devouring the ruins around it.