Sunday, May 31, 2009

Invisible bugs, continued

I seemed to have gotten a little 3D on this shot because the invisible bug is more visible. Check out the "feet" on this little fellow. Click on image for enlargement.

Coleoptera : Elateridae

Coleoptera : Elateridae. It was out getting some sun.

Invisible bugs, continued

These bugs don't need to close the curtains when they make love. They are near invisible! The warm afternoon sun must have awakened hormones because they were other couples making out too.

Fungi 2009

Fungi next to burned brush.


I caught this big lizard taking a sunbath some days ago. We've had more than our share of rain this year, so our friend was in the mood for warming up.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Invisible bugs

I discovered five of these "invisible" bugs on a log close to my "red-neck house". The trees had been cut about three months ago for the purpose of freeing up space for the building of the small two room house. If I hadn't been specifically looking for small insects, I'm sure I'd never have seen them.


Having lunch together. Click on image for enlargement.

Monday, May 11, 2009


This old gecko looks like a survivor to me. It may be my imagination, but it seems to have lived the life of hard knocks. I suspect that it has been caught in the sliding metal windows of the reception center. Geckos love to hang out in these places, where they can't be seen. Repeat after me ten times, "Be care when opening and closing the windows."

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Horned spiders

Yes, dr. r, that was a spider in the last post. A bit different than most spiders, but a spider. A more common spider here at Bosque Santa Lucia is the horned spider. Attached images.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cyrptic things

Identify this one! On the green leaf, it can give you the impression that it's something alive. In other environments it blends in perfectly with old leaves, broken sticks and the like. It took me awhile to venture a guess. What do you think?


Tortoise beetles, continued

Tortoise beetles

An extended family of tortoise beetles have taken up residence on the edge of the woods next to the water tower. They are everywhere, but this was the largest congregation of them.

Mumbaca fruit

Some animal probably knocked this mumbaca fruit (Astrocaryum gyncanthum) off the palm.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Confederates - Darlan Riker

Every now and then I divert from plants and trees at Bosque Santa Lúcia to report on the Confederados, descendants of the American Confederates who came to Santarém after the Civil War in the United States. Click on the label "Confederados" to see other posts, including one on the death Delano Riker.

I've known Darlan Riker since 1979, when I first came to Santarém. He and his brother, Delano, were partners in an air-taxi business named TAIL. I also knew their mother, Dona Mayflower, who invited me to visit the grave site of her grandfather, Robert Riker, who had immigrated to Santarém from South Carolina after the American Civil War. They settled on the edge of the Planalto (highlands) only 5-6 miles from the city. Although years and generations have passed since that time, I'm always reminded of their original homestead because of Delano's riverboat and cattle ranch, both named El Dorado. The boat is almost always moored to a buoy out in the Tapajós River, right in front of the city. I often wondered why the Riker boat and ranch were called El Dorado. I discovered why after reading David Afton Riker's book, O Último Confederado Na Amazônia (The Last Confederate in the Amazon) . To put it simply, the old Riker homestead at Diamantino had provided well for the family ... and the descendants of Robert had sold the place for a good price, around 1910. I took the picture of Darlan upper image) only this week, almost in front of the house where his mother lived. Darlan is still a pilot ... and his love is that of flying. We also talked about the boat that now belongs to Delano's sons. Although there's no advertizements, it can be leased for for regional tours, including the El Dorado ranch. Every time I touch base with the Confederados, I realize that I need to take time off from my other actvitities to write more about them.