Monday, November 30, 2009

Frog on painting

On this past Saturday, I turned an oil painting over to see how my spider farm was coming along. Not to my surprise, there was more than spiders. There was this little frog, plus a large gecko, which quickly disappeared. There was only time to get this image of the frog.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Iguanas, continued

And here's an older iguana munching on a ripe mango fruit. When not down on the ground after fallen fruit, they stay up in the mango trees. They're fun seeing as they climb up into the branches.

Iguanas, continued

Here's a young iguana with its very long tail. When they move about on the ground, the tail leaves a very distinguished mark in the dust. Click on image for an enlargement.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


The choice of a parking lot for waiting for my wife at the Maternidade Hospital in Santarem is in the back lot, where some old mango trees provide some shade from the very hot sun. The trees also provide food for families of iguanas living there. Last week I took several pictures of the animals lunching on ripe mango fruit. What caught my attention was the tail on this iguana. I've never seen one of these before, but I would assume that it is a regenerated tail.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Passion fruit tendrils

An image of the passion fruit vine attaching itself to the wire that Cleuson strung up to support it. Those tendrils are something else. They run ahead of the plant itself, attaching themselves to whatever they encounter. By the time those large leaves get there, they are secure from winds blowing them all over the place.

Passion fruit leaf

One thing I've learned about passion fruit plants is that they need a lot of sunlight. I've planted the vines in places where I fantasized they would attract a lot of attention from visitors, but they never made it. They do like sun! The one in the image seems to have found what it likes the most. It's grown a lot since I took this picture. Cleuson rigged up a long piece of barbed wire for it to latch onto. Coming up. By the way, this is the commercial variety of passion fruit, Passiflora edulis. Not to be confused with the wild varieities of passion fruit found at Bosque Santa Lucia. They grow up in the shade of the forest and then sneak out into the sunlight to flower.

Jacaranda copaia

The purple flowers of Jacaranda copaia fell from sky to decorate the environment below. The tree puts on quite a show with an explosion of purple and it's said that the dry season is over when this happens. In reality, it's rained only once since the trees bloomed. Nevertheless, nature's show is spectacular.


When I first posted the image of these flowers, I identified them as the genus Senna. I had mistakenly confused them with other yellow flowers in the immediate area, which had been identified by Mary at A Neotropical Savanna as Senna. Sorry for the confusion. Refer to our
exchange posted under comments. Back to the drawing board.

Fuzzy plant

The new shoots on this small tree certainly get some attention, given they are so different than others around it. I haven't the slightest idea as to the species. That's biodiversity. Never an end to learning.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rural dogs

Local dogs around Bosque Santa Lucia are always noteworthy. It's been my experience that they don't live a long happy life. Generations of dogs have come and gone since I've been here. Some follow their owners out to the highway, BR-163, where they are unexpectedly run over by speeding vehicles. Others die of snake bites; some die of disease; some starve to death and some just disappear. And then there are some that settle in with neighbors, who feed them. Yes, that's me. I shouldn't do it, because in reality they belong to other people. I remember one dog I nurtured back to health from a total state of starvation. One day I arived at the Bosque to discover that she had been killed by the true owner because she had eaten some duck eggs. I promised to never get a attached to another dog belonging to others. Hum, so be it. The dog in the upper image established residence at the Bosque some months ago, also a case of skin and bones. I refuse to get attached to her emotionally, but I do feed her and she seldom leaves the Bosque premises. She pays for her expenses by performing as a watchdog when I'm not there. The dog in the lower image belongs to the neighbors across the road, Sr. Carlos and his family. There are a pack of kids there and they seem to take good care of the dog. Nevertheless, he is quick to cross the road when I arrive at the Bosque and he has a voracious appetite. I have to keep an eye on where I place food because he will climb upon tables, or wherever, to get to the goodies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Summer fungi

The nomenclature is mine. I don't think there is such a name, "summer fungi". It came to mind because we are at the end (I hope) of a long hot summer and these fungi give that impression. Reminds me of dried flowers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spiders, continued

Someone mentioned that these spiders might be aranha armadeira (Phoneutria reidyi), but I haven't found anything to prove it. Hairy as they are, I suspect that they are baby tarantulas.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not easy weaning the young spiders from their former nest.

Spiders, continued

Another look at the egg sack of Madame Spider. This picture was taken yesterday. I get the feeling that it's hardening up. A week ago it was much more like a fluff of cotton.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Domestic spiders

No, I don't raise spiders out at Bosque Santa Lucia, but it appears that way. A few days ago I was moving some paintings around in my small wooden house, when to my surprise I discovered these spiders and their egg sack on the backside of a Marcio Dizencourt canvas. There must have been more than 100 of these spiders and I assume that they were a few days old, since they couldn't possibly all fit into that egg sack. I didn't see Mama around either. I took some pictures and put the painting back on the wall. I look forward to having another look tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Guaraná fruit

Fruit of guaraná (Paullina cupana), which is classified as a stimulant and aphrodisiac. The main ingredient is caffeine. Five times more than coffee!

Saturday, November 07, 2009


I discovered this flower at the end of a small branch coming off a regenerated tree that had been cut for bringing in electrical wiring to the reception center. A very nondescript tree, had it not been for the bloom.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Vanilla flowers, continued

Another vanilla flower closes down with the reduced sunlight at the end of the day.

Vanilla flower, continued

A diffused view of a flower with buds in the background.

Vanilla flower

Well, having paid tribute to the lone wasp building its nest, it was time to photograph flowers from the vanilla vine. View from the front, looking into the flower.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Paper wasp, continued

A better look at the nest. Isn't it a beauty? I'll be checking on it again to see if there are other individuals involved.

Paper wasp

I was up high on a chair shooting pictures of a vanilla vine in bloom when I came face to face with this beautiful wasp. There were times when it stared at me, but it didn't seem too worried about having to pose for my camera.

Sunday, November 01, 2009