The long march from Akumal

My last day in Mexico was one where the weather finally cooperated, if no rain is what could be called cooperation. It was also extremely hot, which should probably have been expected, because those ocean breezes didn’t reach where I was.

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It was definitely breezy on the beach! Plenty of waves!
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Not here, though. Note the Cecropia plants on the left, with their large, wide leaves. They are a sure sign of disturbed forest.

There weren’t mosquitoes like Palo Verde, although there were a couple of high-pitched buzzes in my ears. At least it wasn’t a constant hum. The other benefit to working in a very tourist-centric place was the ease of transportation; I could get to my sites with a small walk and a ride in a collectivo.

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You never have to wait long for one of these to go rambling by. They’re called collectivos in Mexico, but for some reason, similar vehicles are called chivas (goats) in Panama.
The inside can be really cramped, especially when the guys up front wedged in two surfboards!
The inside can be really cramped, especially when the guys up front wedged in two surfboards!

Since it was a day without rain–even though it was cloudy–I decided to make the most of it. I walked all along the access road, although I took care to avoid the (completely unmarked) private property that a guy in a car chased me off of the last time I was in Mexico. He told me it belonged to some hotel, and that I needed permission from the hotel administration before I could collect spiders. To make sure I didn’t wander over there again, I always walked to the left.

Plenty of road in either direction.
Plenty of road in either direction.

The spiders were out, but not as common and I remembered from last time. I never really found more than 4 or 5 on a plant, when I seem to recall a higher population density on 2013. That is still far higher than what I found in Costa Rica, but it makes me wonder if the drought that has been following me from Panama to Costa Rica might also be happening in Mexico. Yes, it was raining, but they weren’t exactly the normal, long-falling rains, more torrential showers that would end in less than 30 minutes or so. As I saw in Palo Verde, it wasn’t nearly enough for the rivers and lakes to fill to the point where the crocodiles could go about their business.

With regard to Bagheera, I also didn’t find many eggs. I found some, but not as many as my last time down here. There were still babies and juveniles, so maybe they all reproduced earlier this year. Since this entire plant-ant-spider system was first reported to science only 5 years ago, there is still plenty to figure out.

Not exactly sure what this is, but it appears to me that certain cacti can also be plant parasites?
Not exactly sure what this is, but it appears to me that certain cacti can also be plant parasites?
This tree really doesn't want anybody climbing it!
This tree really doesn’t want anybody climbing it!

My wanderings today took me to Uxuxubi, which I should have know was far because of the signs.

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At least there were plenty of pretty flowers on the way!

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I’m guessing that this is a bromeliad (pineapple relative) of some sort.
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This flower was really impressive.
I'm not sure what put the foam on the branches here, but I'm guessing either insects or frogs?
I’m not sure what put the foam on the branches here, but I’m guessing either insects or frogs?   
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Strangler figs grow in the Yucatán, too.
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And here’s what it looks like after they’ve killed the tree they used to get up to the canopy (although this picture was actually taken in Costa Rica).

The best Vachellia plant that I found came at the very end, where I found seven spiders!

Be careful for that hornet's nest!
Be careful for that hornet’s nest!

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. George Eastburn says:

    You’ve apparently got to have a good pair of shoes to do this kind of research. The photos of the trek into Uxuxubi reminds me of the trek I did not take into Chagres National Park, Panamá. It seems that it’s often better to read about a trek into the wilderness than actually trekking on foot into the wilderness.

    Like

    1. markeastburn says:

      It’s all true; unfortunately (or fortunately for me now) I left my good boots behind in Panama, so I had to buy a pair of low quality boots in Costa Rica. They completed their task, and were pretty much destroyed, but now I have my good pair again.

      Like

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