Expedition to the Rainforests

In the spring of I999 Pollyanna traveled out to the Rain Forests of Belize in Central America. She braved her fear of scorpions and tarantulas, as well as the humid temperatures, which reached 103C in order to fill her sketchpads with images, which would inspire her exhibition "The Temple of the Jaguar King".

treefrogsecureEighty percent of the original virgin rain forests of Belize remain intact, making it the ideal destination. Pollyanna traveled the length of the country in a ramshackle assortment of four wheel drive vehicles and light aircraft. One reserve in the centre of the jungle was accessible only by river, necessitating a day's canoeing through crocodile infested waters to reach the outpost lodge.

Sightings of many of the rain forests wild cats - the beautifully inargays, elusive jaguarundis, and an unforgettable sighting of an ocelot with a cub was the reward for the hazardous travelling. In addition the rain forests are home to many beautiful birds - Pollyanna's sketch pads rapidly filled with toucans, parakeets and parrots, including the green winged macaw, now very endangered in its homeland due to over collection for export to the pet trade.

Pollyanna was fortunate enough to stay and work with Mark and Monique Howells, owners of the Lamanai outpost Lodge, who were working on the rehabilitation and re-release of two young orphaned howler monkeys. This afforded Pollyanna a unique opportunity to get close to these inquisitive and intelligent creatures - who delighted in stealing her pencils and taking bites out of her sketch pad.

Pollyanna's primary quest however was to see the Jaguar - King of the Belizean jungle - and at gallon jug, in the heart of the rain forest she was successful in sighting and sketching this magnificent cat, subject of myth and legend, which roams through the ruins of the Mayan temples as it has for centuries.

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