Creatures of the Peten
Saw my first jaguar in Guatemala last week. Everything near tikal is either named after Tikal or Jaguars. The pelts of the jaguar were used by the Mayan kings of old. Now they are an endangered species.
There were a pair of them at this little island zoo in Lago Itza. I was surprised at their size, I expected wild cats the size of ocelots or bobcats. Instead they were tiger or leopard sized. I was very impressed at their regal movements.
While we walked through Tikal, the Red Willow group kept stopping to inspect the insects. I'm sure at least an hour was spent taking photos and filming the mites and their tunnels, the spiders and the beetles. This spider was huge, easily the size of my hand. There were three of them on three different webs that spanned three square metres. We watched as this spider spun a web around a captured fly, it was just like Shelob wrapping Frodo up.
The group appeared to be just as fascinated, if not moreso, with the strange and wonderful wildlife they saw while in and around Tikal as they were with the Tikal ruins itself. Personally, what strikes me the most about the ruins is that they are ruined. These huge rock structures were slowly taken apart and covered with vegetation. The gods of the Mayans are long gone, holding no majesty in this age. The God of creation however...