The hyacinths that hang around the trees near my room.

Afternoon,  Bel Campo…

The morning was highlighted by work at a local kitchen.  Fulfilled, tired and sweaty, I made my way to my room at Bel Campo lodge, and into the pool, followed by an ache-relieving long shower.

My room is a cottage that sits down a pathway on the side of the lodge’s main hill.  The bedroom is complimented by an apron of a deck that sits securely over a twenty-foot drop to the jungle outside.

I laid down to take a nap.

As soon as I felt my way into the pile of pillows, a trilling frog-like sound lured me out of the cushy, pillow top bed that I had nestled in to.  I had learned just days before from a Kek’chi Maya guide, that the ribbety gutteral sound comes from the toucan.  I was eager to see one and take in its contrast of color and large beak.

As I made my way to the deck, I scanned the trees to see if I could locate the bird.  The noise sounded from top of a thatch palm tree.  I knew that if I waited, it would appear.  The afternoon wind blew, and even through the screen I could still feel its warmth wrap around me.  The wetness of my hair softened, and I felt a completeness and comfort in my linen robe.

It is my favorite time of day.

The toucan appeared, just a minute after it stopped chirping. It dipped downward and as it came to its side, it clicked its beak together.  I heard the clicking and stood still, watching it as it moved from the palm to a Gumbo Limbo.  The greenish yellow of its face was perfectly framed by the black of its cap and back.  The beak was a rainbow of colors, more marvelous than I pictured, better than I was told it would be.

This is a Ceiba tree, filled with the nests of the Oropendulos. I was not fast enough to snap a photo of the toucan. Next time.....

Kristin Fuhrmann Simmons