28 March 2011

Tufted Titmouse, Orchard Spider and Florida Springtime, Urban Biodiversity

I finished working with the green roof plants this afternoon and sat on the back porch to watch the sun go down.  The garden flowers shown in the afternoon sun as did the lone orchid spider and the bathing tufted titmouse!  Urban wildlife at its finest!
Orchid Spider, Leucauge venusta

Tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor

Tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor

Tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor

Tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor

Spring in Florida Garden!

20 March 2011

Columba livia, Rock Pigeon, Masterful Urban Adaptor

Scientific Name: Columba livia
Rock pigeon, Pigeon
Family: Columbidae

Common Pigeon, Columba livia

Wikipedia estimates the population of the common pigeon in Europe alone to be over 30 million.  Native to Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia, the pigeon is truly the perfect Urban Core adaptor.  Originally adept to nesting along the face of sheer rock cliffs, pigeons now can be found roosting on bridges, skyscrapers and concrete structures around the world.

Yes, their eyes are truly red, babies are commonly referred to as 'squabs', and there is even a National Pigeon Society! 

17 March 2011

Luna Moths and Jincy Rhianna, Urban Wonders

Though we are deep in the concrete jungle, unusual wildlife shows up here on the Urban Farm daily, drawn to, I believe in part, an unusual sprite.   Jincy Rhianna is going on 15 years.  When two years she spoke to a rattlesnake (I saw it with my eyes), telling it not to strike her in a field of Tu Mu Shui plantation.  At four years hummingbirds would fly to her hands, resting in her cupped palms.  Her and her brother Ruairi Aidan would sneak off, hike deep into the cypress swamp and sit at the feet of Grandmother Cypress, an ancient tree, listening to the stories told on the swamp breezes as they rustled through the spanish moss.   Then the day came where we followed fate, sold the coastal pine flatwoods refuge and moved into the Urban Core of Jacksonville.  But Jincy's water faery spirit lingers on.  And today I come home from a greenroof trip across Florida to find the photos of her and a young Luna Moth on the camera.  She is not home to tell me about the moth.  But I understand.  I understand I do not really understand anything except Jincy's Irish Faery Spirit and She Nature exist in a realm I could only imagine.  I will ask her later what their eyes told one another, for a Luna Moth has large 'eyes' on its wings yet no mouth and does not eat.  It lives only one week, born to mate, just as all Saturniidae.

Trí ní is deacair a thuiscint;
intleacht na mban,
obair na mbeach,
teacht agus imeacht na taoide.

Actias luna & Jincy Rhianna

Actias luna & Jincy Rhianna

Actias luna & Jincy Rhianna

Actias luna & Jincy Rhianna

10 March 2011

Atafona & Climate Change

Atafona is a place where the effects of climate change have become explicit.

In 30 years, more than 200 construction buildings near the beach have submerged (over 15 blocks have been destroyed) due to the sea level rise and to the fury of the wind. The coastline is advancing the land about 6m per year and the beacon had to be moved into the city twice.

Located in the north of the state of Rio de Janeiro, the district of Atafona is known for the healing properties of its waters (ocean and river) and for its ruins, sculped by the erosion.

Because Atafona attracts tourists and artists in general, efforts are made to adapt the local communities to economic activities that are related to the constant modification in the environment and topography.

digital mapping of the erosion in the urban area of Atafona The name Atafona has an indigenous origin, meaning windmill.

Buteo jamaicensis, Urban Core Adaptation, Nature Urbaine

The two red-tail hawks living in our neighborhood are becoming increasingly used to our presence, indicating a high level of urbanization.  We have a bird houe stand adjacent to one of the greenhouses in the back and whereas before when the hawks would watch our activities from high up in the trees, they now swoop down for a closer view.

Of course, we would never hurt them.  In fact they keep our yard free of any mice and many other pest creatures as they are fast and voracious hunters and feeders.

Yet it is amazing just how much the Urban Core has changed the habits of birds and other wildlife.

Buteo jamaicensis

Buteo jamaicensis

08 March 2011

Urban Wetlands and Wood Storks, Urban Wetlands Restored by Nature

Scientific name : Mycteria Americana
Wood Stork, Tantale d'Amérique
Family/Famille : Ciconiidae
Urban Wood Storks

Botanical name : Acer rubrum
Red Maple, Erable rouge
Family/Famille : Aceraceae
Urban Red Maple in Bloom
Urban Red Maple in Bloom

Many urban areas have been built where wetlands once stood.  And nature always reverts away from the fill and extra dirt over time, restoring native hydrology and creating the ecosystems that truly belong.

The above photos are of Urban Core Jacksonville areas where fill was brought in to cover the wetlands yet over time the original wetland plants came back.  Along with the wetland plants came the wetland dependent wildlife.  Wood storks, to me, look like prehistoric birds.  They are beautiful and can be occasionally seen foraging in these Urban Core wetlands nature is restoring.

04 March 2011

Feeling the Mood, Getting the Groove and Afterglow, Shorty the Urban Red Tail Hawk & Mate

Puffed Feathers, Sure Mood Indicator

Urban Red Tail Hawks, Contemplating Next Move
The Groove
Afterglow & Afterthoughts 

01 March 2011

The Brazilian Agouti

The Brazilian Agouti, Dasyprocta leporina, is a South American agouti species from the Dasyprotidae family. It is also called "red-rumped", "orange-rumped" or the "golden-rumped" agouti. It lives in a wide variety of habitats as long as there is water and dense plant growth.These habitats may include gardens and crop fields. It is also found in the rainforests or other forests of Brazil and northward.

photo: Os Roedores

Campo de Santana, a park at the busy urban center of Rio de Janeiro holds a population of more than a thousand agoutis among other small animals.

Tijuca Forest, world's largest urban forest, also in Rio, is the home of a great range of animal species; nevertheless, agoutis hadn't been seen there for a long time. For this reason, since 2010, a group biologists from Tijuca Forest have been working on the readaptation of some "very urban" Brazilian agoutis to the forest, a much "less urban" habitat.

Read This is my Brazilian Agouti fact sheet! @ The Daniel's Animal Facts Blog.

Urban Ducks Adopt Neighborhood Swimming Pool

Scientific name : Anas platyrhynchos
Canard de Colvert
Mallard Duck 
Family/Famille : Anatidae

Urban Mallard Ducks 

Urban Mallard Ducks 

Urban Mallard Ducks 

Urban Mallard Ducks