December 12, 2006

Dear visitors of our Homepage,
 

The last months we worked very hard and an update of this section is overdue. Thanks to our guests we could improve the installations of Casa Maria and also made some new acquisitions. For our future visitors the stay will be even more pleasant.

The latest news are:

A new small house for Xiomara. This project has been integrated harmoniously in our extended garden. Associated to this construction lovingly decorated paths were added to our area.

Her former room is renovated now and soon will be available as an additional room for our guests..

 
     
 

The shell construction (Sept. 2005).

 

Finally finished ! (December 2006).

 
 
A new fully-automatic low-noise electrical power-plant makes any blackout almost imperceptible.

The way to the terrace is now adorned with a new stair and a small cascade.

 
 

New stairs with a tiny cascade.

 
From the Swiss consul, who was transposed to the Iran, we acquired a Landrover Defender 110. Meanwhile the car has been proven on 3 tours. The Mercedes GD300 we handed over instead.
(In our photo gallery are the first pictures of the Defender in action.)

The market garden became larger and must be extended already again, because I need still more plants for the work with the butterflies.

A great success is our 2000 l sea water aquarium in the dining area, a real eye pasture.
The complex sensitive ecosystem of the coral riffs is often a stimulus to talk with young people about the hard to understand concatenation between the riffs survival and the erosion generated by the destruction of woods near the coast..

 
 

The new sea water aquarium.

 
Entomological news

We can report a great breeding success of Copaxa simson, Copiopteryx semiramis, and another not yet defined species of Paradaemonia. Very exiting were the successful hybrids in 4 generations of Morpho achilles tepuina and Morpho peleides corydon. They seem to belong to the same species, even as they look very different. In the future their name will be Morpho helenor tepuina and Morpho helenor corydon.

 
     
 

Male Copaxa simson

 

Male Copiopteryx semiramis

 
 
     
 

Paradaemonia spec.

 

Above left Morpho helenor tepuina, on the right Morpho helenor corydon below hybrids (all male).

 
 
Special events

This year we boosted our commitment with the conservation of nature and rainforest. In our region we arranged a petition with a message to the Department of the Environment requesting more support.

The cooperation with some schools of the area with my lectures about ecological themes are very well received.

Particularly intensive is the cooperation with the International School (CIC) of Valencia. With them we realized two intensive environmental excursions with students between 12 and 16 years of age.

 
     
 

Alfred Olivas (leader) 2. from the right, students and companions.

 

Prof. Zach (leader) on the left, students and companions.

 
 
With National Geographic we produced another documental for the series Animalplanet. One of the leading actors was my large millipedes (Scolopendera giganthea). For the second time the well-known actor and entomologist Ruth Kleinpaste from New Zealand (also known as Bugman), visited Casa Maria.

This is already the third documentary, where Casa Maria was  involved substantially.

 
     
 

Scolopendera giganthea and Bugman on the right,
 I am on the left.

 

The film team from New Zealand.

 
 
Excursions

This year we realized quite a lot of nice tours, but I only want to mention the large ones.

With car and boat we went to the almost unknown southern Orinoco Delta, which is still an untouched area. Only few isolated people live there. The remotest place was Ibaruma, where the people already know me and we were received as friends.

 
 

Farewell from Ibaruma.

 
The plants and the world of birds an insects are unforgotten as well the shows of the sweet water dolphins.

One tour brought us into the Andes, and then thru the Llanos to Amazonia. A varied trip to different habitats and unforgettable landscapes, orchids, bromelias, colourful fishes seen usually only in aquariums, capybaras, anacondas, caimans and countless birds.

On another tour we elected a wild remote route to the Andes. We passed through fantastic cloud forests, where we could observe cock-of-the-rocks to mention some highlights.
The new Landrover performed great. We returned passing the Lake Maracaibo and visited the dry areas of Paraguaná and Coro.

On a further trip to Amazonia and Gran Sabana I was confronted for the first time with a puma.
Really, the year 2006 was not boring ...

In our picture gallery are some new photos of these tours.

 
  How sad a fate !
My good friend Robi passed away tragically.
Lately he could not resist to annoy the growing old Max.
In one moment Max lost his temper and snapped. This jolt provoked a heart attack to Robi and he died immediately.

A few weeks later also Max died with 14 years of age, which was expected.

Roby had the same age as Max, but he was expected to live for many more years.
We miss them both.

 

Robi    

 
  Max
 
Miscellaneous

Some time ago Google Earth improved it's resolution around Casa Maria, and now you can observe amazing details. Unfortunately also the progress of deforestation is visible.

Everybody is fine here, including our animal friends. Come to visit us to convince yourself ...

Greetings,

Norbert


August 14, 2005

Dear friends and visitors of our WEBsite CASA MARIA - BUGPARADISE.

Finally our WEB-presentation is almost ready.
It was much more work then initially expected.

Our WEB-designer Rainer did a great job and realized with patience my wishes.
If you have ideas or missing something, please let me know. So we can improve our site with your help.

We are glad to add nice photos, you made at CASA MARIA, to this WEBsite.

Please click also the links to get additional informations.

 
  Really interesting is a virtual trip to CASA MARIA using the software GOOGLE EARTH.

With GOOGLE EARTH con can look on our location from the space perspective. If you don't have installed GE already, we recommend to do so.
This (free) software permits to view our planet from space, even three-dimensional.

In the future you will find here actual news, events and informations from the BUGPARADISE, For instance the ineloquent occurrence 3 weeks ago, when a big tree tumbled on one of our roofs during a storm.

 
I hope, you often visit our site, and recommend our URL to friends and acquaintances.

Hopefully we see you again, or even for the first time. Let you inveigle by us for an unforgettable tour into the Caribbean paradise CASA MARIA.

This is our team:

   

   
From left to right :
Norbert (the head of Casa Maria), Luis (realizes our construction-ideas), Hilberto (keeping free the lanes and feeds the animals), Fermín (looks after the  scientific nursery garden and the butterfly-houses) Gaby (is responsible for the bureaucracy and welfare of our guests and collaborators), Leo (takes care that everything performs well, and steps in, where help is needed).
Sitting :
Xiomara (takes care of the kitchen, cleanness, temper and everything for the wellness of our guests)
The dogs  Biggi, Pingo, Max and Mara enjoy to be fondled and in change they take care of us !
Norbert Flauger