Jan 8: When it Rains, it Pours!

Highlights of Day 10

It was an early morning for the insect and birding groups who woke up at 5:15 am to get work done before the 7:00 breakfast call.  We all enjoyed a diverse spread of gallo pinto (a traditional food consisting of….rice and beans) and fried eggs, along with cereal and a selection of fresh fruits.  After were all full we headed to meet the guides that would be taking us on a nature tour of La Selva.  The professionals were able to point out animals that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.  As we set off for our tour, the rain began to start and we quickly realized the meaning of the name “RAINforest.”  Highlights of the tour included bullet ants, spider monkeys, the bluejeans poison dart frog, sloths, an eyelash viper, peccaries (which we smelled long before we saw them), and tons of incredible birds.  The spider monkeys were extremely close to us and even walked across the path in front of us! Our guide told us they were behaving in a way he had never seen before, but his guess was that a male was trying to attack a baby and it’s mother was protecting her child.

After the tour we headed to the comedor for a quick lunch and met at the lab to prepare for our plant walk with Orlando, a good friend and expert on La Selva.  We kept an eye on the sky as conditions started to worsen, but continued onward into the dense jungle to complete our Gentry transects.  Jared and Davi departed from the group to join the OTS graduate course for a stream hike.  They had a great time going into a stream, splashing around in it for a few minutes, and walking back out of the jungle.  Just kidding, their playtime was very educational as preparation for their independent project.  Individual projects are just a few days away and we are all anxiously looking forward to see which methods will actually work in the field!

While Davi and Jared frolicked in streams, the rest of the class spent the afternoon measuring transects 25 m into the forest from the trail, carefully measuring DBH while avoiding bullet ants, snakes, and spiders, collecting samples and attempting to properly label leaves all in the torrential downpour.  This was the textbook definition of type 2 fun.  We headed out of the forest soaked to the bone with the thought of clean laundry and luke-warm showers in our mind.  Some of us attended the stream ecology talk at 5 and quickly headed to dinner afterwards.  The entire class went to a lecture on rapid inventory in the Amazon after dinner and finished the night in the lab with some group project work (and a sing along).  The relentless rain and a quick thunderstorm lulled us all into a much needed deep sleep.

Rose & Thorn

Rose: Clean, warm, folded laundry

Thorn: Hard rain all day causing the insect group to have unusable data L

Vibe of the day: Drenched

Quote of the day:

“My underwear isn’t wet yet…..now it is (3 minutes later).” -Lydia in the pouring rain.

Scientist Spotlight: Elena Forbath (Junior at Colgate University, Biology and Geography)

One Favorite Childhood Memory in Nature?

Going to a different national park with my family every summer. My favorite was Yosemite.

What have you enjoyed most about this trip so far?

Bird watching in the morning for sure. Definitely worth the early mornings

Dream job?

I do not have a dream job at this point. I originally wanted to be a doctor, then switched to research, and now I’m unsure of what I want to do. I’m open to suggestions, so comment below 🙂

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