Sunday, July 30, 2006

Jewel beetles and moths

Day 20, Sunday, July 30. Stein had a wildly successful light trap night and has come back with beautiful moths of all colors, all laid out on the plywood table. Some look like yellow leaves mottled with brown, very very leafy looking. Others are subtle browns greys with shades of lavender and gold. Another moth looks like a brown leaf. Two others have eyes on their wings. They are all quite beautiful. He also had about 13 jewel beetles of various colors. The jewel beetles are truly magnificent, they each had eyes like diamonds, and feet and claws dipped in liquid gold. Their backs shiny like new cars, in metallic green with yellow dimples; another beetle has a pink sheen; they were amazing to look at, truly like special shiny jewels.

Throughout the day, the guys in camp will occasionally go to a wooden pullup/chin up bar and do as many pullups as their arms can manage. Alex the Honduran guide can do the most, maybe 14. Sergio can also do an impressive number, though his style is to keep his hands close together, where all the others keep a foot of space between each hand. After dinner, we played charades. Dinner deserves mention. Kathy and the other howler monkey researchers made dinner, which was a tasty mix of rice with curry sauce and fresh salsa. The flavors were a welcome change from the daily bland lunches and dinners. After dinner we played charades with Sergio, Ferny, and Stein. Later, Sergio and I talked about bat conservation and bat gates and the conservation issues that bats face. Ferny joined the conversation which turned to data analysis, statistics, and how best to analyze some component of what is being collected by the small mammal biologists. I think it was probably 1 am when I retired to my hammock, happy enough that my stay in Guanales had been pleasant and the folks at camp were all very nice and interesting.

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