Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I found this wasp nest on the ground. I assume the stem to which it was attached up in a tree must have broken off in the wind. There were a lot of ants on the paper-like nest, so I assume there were still remains of some edible inside.
I posted an image of this plant with flowers and fruit recently and marked it as an unidentified tree or shrub. I thank Giovanni Signorini for identifying it as a member of the Capparidaceae family. Mostly ants on the fruit, but notice the other small insect on the bottom left.
Monday, December 21, 2009
This past week I was "shooting the bull" with some of our woodsmen under the shade of an old jack fruit tree, when I spotted José Garcia passing by with a string of horses. About fifteen minutes later he passed us again and headed off on another trail. "What's he up to?", I asked one of the woodsmen. "He looking for grass" he responded. I guess there was none around. It's been very dry in this part of the Amazon. Only one good rain in the last two months, which occurred at the end of October. Prior to that we had gone a full two months without rain. Although we got a light rain last night, the weatherman says it's going to be the middle of January before we get wet.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I've included this image to show the leaves on this wild passion fruit vine. I don't know the species, unfortunately. I know that there are at least four different ones at Bosque Santa Lúcia.
I forgot that I had taken a picture of the wild passion fruit vine from another angle. If my eyes are playing tricks on me, all three stages of development are on the same vine. Click on the image for an enlargement.
This scene was a bit unusual. Passion fruit in three different stages of development, the bud, the flower and the fruit. All on the same vine? I thought so at the time I took the picture, but it's possible that there's more than one vine. I'll have another look.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I can't find the name of this ground orchid in my files, but I remember it was given to me by a neighbor, who brought it from a tropical savanna environment near the Tapajos River. This is the first time that it's bloomed. It'll be producing better flowers in the future, I think. Dust is a major factor right now.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Last Saturday I received a busload of passengers from a cruise ship moored in Alter do Chão, some 33 kilometers from Santarém. As the bus came to a halt at the entrance to the Bosque, I heard the sounds of a guide speaking over a load speaker system, but at a higher pitch than normal. Suddenly, Nelis, the English speaking guide, jumped off the bus with his 16 passengers and they all headed across the road, a route never taken on our tours. From a distance I saw everyone looking up into the trees. "Hum, monkeys", I thought. As it turned out, Nelis had spotted a sloth, right from the bus. Some of the woodsmen took the animal from the tree and brought it over to the reception center, as seen in the image. A beautiful sloth. Look at those nails!
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Here's another look at our young friend. She's standing on a barbecue pit next to the back porch of the Bosque reception center. Later she climbed down and then up a relatively high hibiscus plant. At some point I looked over in that direction to see the parrot being dive-bombed by a family of social flycatchers. It was quite a show and I'm sorry to say that I didn't get a picture of the event. The poor parrot didn't stand a chance, so she flew down to brush some meters away.
One of our neighbor's kids brought his new pet over for me to see yesterday, a young parrot. At first I thought it might be a festive parrot, but now I have my doubts. I'll have to do some research. Interesting that the kid's nickname is "Pagagaio", which means parrot. He came by that name because when he was younger he was never much for talking, but he was attentive like a parrot, moving his head from side to side as he watched others. That's Papagaio in the background.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
That's Paulinho, one of the local guides assigned to the cruise ship, showing off Brazil nuts. Down below in the red shirt with a machete is Carlos, one of our woodsmen. Hew doesn't talk much, but it's not an easy job opening those pods.
Visitors from a cruise ship following their guide over to my "getaway house" to see some young tarantulas which have made their home behind a painting.