Letter from Belize no. 72

9th April 2018

A few months ago we started up a Women’s Spiritual Book group where each session a different person brings along a reading or something that has particularly struck them as useful or helpful or beautiful. It is going really well. Sorry you guys but there is something special about the depth and quality of conversation among women. So, last time one of the women talked about miracles and pointed out how they are all around us all the time in nature and we often just don’t take the time to notice and appreciate them.

I want to share with you some of the miracles that unfold in front of our eyes every day here at the Retreat. Spring anywhere in the world is magic. We have been fascinated that, just in the same way that we have often commented how the plant life is full of surprises and unpredictability, so the bird life has been totally different over this winter period from last year, mainly in that there have just been fewer of them. We cannot know why – more water elsewhere, preferable food elsewhere – it remains their secret. However in the last few weeks bird activity has definitely picked up; they become very territorial as they begin looking for suitable nesting spots and there is a whole different energy.

This is a female Black-cowled Oriole checking out a palm tree. You can just see a piece of straw in her beak. She and her partner flew off soon after that and I don’t know where they have chosen to nest.

This one I love. To my delight the Rose-throated Becards have returned. Last year they nested twice in the top of a mahogany tree and this year, back to the same spot. Is that not a miracle? Imagine, they are not here all year, they probably move further south in the winter (they live from Arizona to Panama) and then they come back to the same Retreat, to the very same tree! That is so amazing.

There she is on the left and he on the right with some building fluff in his beak.

The other great attraction for the birds has been the flowering Madre de Cacao tree with its beautiful and obviously scrumptious delicate white flowers.

This is the Yellow-tailed Oriole, less common than the other Orioles so I was thrilled to get such a good sighting.

Cinnamon Hummingbird who makes a perfect training ground for any aspiring photographer.

The Black-cowled Oriole again, this time the male.

Olive-throated Parakeet – impossible to watch without chuckling, they are so comical.

Ruddy Ground Doves – the 2 males on the left vying for the attention of the female on the right.

And other visitors to the garden are:

American Redstart

Indigo Bunting

Male Orchard Oriole

Couch’s Kingbird

And then there are flowers and creatures – just all sorts.

Our love in miracles

Check out the latest visitors’ messages on the website visitors’ page.


To find out more, please email us at

Facebook Page
YouTube Channel

Printed from https://gatewayretreatbelize.org — Letter from Belize no. 72.