Wednesday, July 19, 2006

how many people can you stuff in a 2 person tent?

Day 10, Thursday, July 20 Tonight’s bat netting was gueling. First, we had to record habitat information from last night’s netting. Extra make-up work is never fun. Also, we had to take down the nets and move them further down the path to the next transect, so there was more take down/set up time involved. the transects and net locations are marked, but the areas are being sampled by many other teams, so there’s a fair amount of activity or evidence of activity at each site. The mosquitoes were annoying in the forest. To assist us a general surveyor, Becky, and 4 students, Chris, Colin, Charolette and Joe came along. We caught a single Sturnira ludovici in the first half hour in the net we set at the banana plantation. Then it began to rain. The rain was preluded by 5 drops like a drumroll before unloading a full torrential bucketfull on our heads. It literally was not raining one second then was a full-blown shower the next. Sergio had thought to set up a small tent for shelter in case, and during those first 5 drops, time slowed while the students and myself stood before the tent. Like there was time to debate whether we should take turns or draw straws. Just then Sergio commanded us not to think about it, dive in! It was at that moment the water came down with gusto. Six of us crouched in the TINY 2 person tent (but more like one and a half), giggling about how many people we could stuff in such a small space. Chris asked if it usually rains long and I said no, but then remembered a couple all night rains and wavered. In total, we were hunched together for possibly 45 minutes before there were enough gaps between drops to make a break for it. We had stopped giggling about so many people in such a small tent 30 minutes before. Sergio had kindly waited outside in his slicker and also closed the nets down, quite a feat because of all the hiking involved in a rainstorm along slippery trails – he’s a rock star. It was a soggy walk back along the trail that ran like a rivulet.

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