Thursday, April 3, 2008

Posted by Bejat

Shawn installed his data loggers up in the canopy of another tree today. It rained last night so maybe it was not quite as hot for Shawn; I know it felt better for us on the ground. He was still surrounded by all his little friends, the sweat bees. Installing the data loggers went well, he was up and down in no time flat. He has this new spider rigging for hooking into the tree and it’s pretty amazing how he can maneuver around the tree, all around the Achemea zebrina bromeliads. Shawn’s assistants are so helpful and nice. We are so fortunate.

In the afternoon we split up into pairs and went to survey the rest of the trails. I got sidetracked and Shawn dismissed me because the cactus that I had been checking on for two weeks now was finally blooming. I did not have my camera because I was not supposed to get distracted, but it was one of those moments when the lighting was perfect and I had to run back to camp to get my camera. I raced back out to catch the afternoon light. It’s so beautiful. It’s in the family Cactaceae and I’ve narrowed it down to Disocactus sp. So, tomorrow I will paint it! I’ve already photographed the progression of the bloom and have one drawing of the unopened bloom. I was just waiting anxiously for it to open. My patience provided the ultimate pleasure. These cacti are epiphytes that grow in the upper canopy, so it is very rare to see them low enough to the ground to paint or even photograph (see photo at upper right). It’s in the perfect spot, right at eye level. I have it marked with flagging tape in hopes that no one will accidentally knock it down.

Noah is catching everything he can get his hands on. It makes us so happy to see people taking such great interest in herptofauna, especially amphibians. I want it to rain so badly so I can go out at night and record our froggy friends. Shawn may climb a tree in camp at night so we can determine the species of Hyla that sounds like it is laughing when it calls. This little side project depends on our schedule.

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