My day trip to Celestun on the Yucatan coast of the Gulf of Mexico was quite enjoyable. However, a lot of what I saw lacked great explanations. I discovered quickly that although the sleepy town was not unheard of, it was mainly visited by Mexican tourists. I was the only native English speaker on my boat tour along the coast. And my Spanish is incredibly inadequate to the task. There was one European family on my boat who had a daughter who spoke Spanish and the father spoke some English.
The result of this was that at each stop, I got a twice translated explanation of what we were seeing. This stunning place, for instance, was described as a petrified forest.
When searching for a better explanation online, I was again having to translate from Spanish, but it appears the forest here was not petrified but died due to saltwater intrusion into the water table beneath the trees. This appears to be a somewhat natural occurrence in coastal landscapes.
The result has a certain stark beauty to it, doesn't it?
If anyone has a more clear explanation for this ghost forest, I would love to hear it, but whatever the reason, I love the feel of this place. It has stayed in the back of my mind every since I stood on that muddy ground and looked at those gnarled barren trees reaching skyward.
To see more of my Mexican artwork, be sure to search for Mexico on tisdaleart.com
June 6th, 2013
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