Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Green Time

(disclaimer: although I did not personally take all of these photos, they were taken by people right around the house)

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  We don't get much in the way of seasons by northern (and southern) standards, but the difference between summer and "winter" here is pretty significant.  There is absolutely no precipitation to speak of between December and April.  We always seem to ring in April fools with the first rain of the winter, and then the green season begins.  The most striking difference, of course, is the absence of dust generated by cars during the summer months, and the vibrant and luscious green that springs out of everywhere.

With the Flora, comes the Fauna, and since the sprouting, fruiting, and blooming ha
ppens everywhere, the local animals and insects follow:

This is an Urraca, spanish for jay.

A white throated Magpie-Jay to be specific, Calocitta formosa, I believe, to be technical.  These guys are pretty common around here, and they have almost no fear of people, and are not only very pretty, but bullies in the bird world.  They are fairly well behaved around here, because we don't feed them, but they can get rather territorial around places that do.

So we are blessed with lots of other birds here as well, trogons, mannakins, among others.  Right now as I'm writing this we have a Chachalaca in our Capulin tree, and we have a few Motmots that I think are burrowing in the area.  I believe that we have both blue crowned and turqoise-browed Motmots here.  It's fascinating to watch them swing it back and forth while they are surveying the area behind our balcony, looking for meals.  I once saw one stab the center of a scorpion, and swallow it down 
after slamming it against a branch to make sure it went down smooth.  

There is a lot of food for the Motmots around here
 at this time: beetles, and all manner of bugs. lizards, dragonflies, and of course, butterflies.  Part of the reason that we keep the butterflies that we raise here under an enclosure is to keep them safe from this impressive hunter. I'm not a hundred percent sure what this one is (although it is a little big for a Motmot  to swallow)

I'm guessing a female stilt beetle, but if anyone else out there has an idea, let me know.  This, however, is not too big for another beetle and caterpillar eater that comes to visit every once in a while:

Cebus Capuchinus

The White-faced Capuchin is a regular around here at this time of year.  The Capulin that that Chachalaca is still in (sorry, the camera is on the blink right now) is also a favorite with them, and they come by all the time to see if there are any bananas, beetles, berries, napkin holders, salt and pepper shakers, or humans around.  We also get a lot of howler monkeys in the area:  They are much more tranquillo than the white faces while they are here, and as the Mantled Howler or Congos (Allouata palliata) mainly eat the leaves of the various trees here, like our Papayas or Cecropias, we like to stop everything and just watch them browse while they are here.

We get a few other mammals around here too, but they are a bit harder to encounter, although both the Agoutis (Dasyprocta punctata) and the white-nosed Coatis (Nasua narica) like to get into our organic trash.


If you come stay at our bed and breakfast, I can't promise you that you'll see all of these guys, but the chances are good that you'll see many at this time of year if you are patient and quiet, and look for a good spot to just sit back and enjoy.

And, make sure that you have us point you in the direction of Rainsong wildlife sanctuary!!  They now have two rescued Ocelots, and are in sore need of donations to create an appropriate enclosure for them to begin a breeding program!!  For more info about this amazing endevor, check out their website: