Friday, July 5, 2013

And The Mountain Defeated Us...Again

July 4, 2013
We have fallen into a rhythm. Get up at 6:30 (though tomorrow starts the 5:30 mornings so I can run), get breakfast and prepare for the mornings hike. The hikes is usually around 4 hours long, come home and hopefully beat the rain. I’ve been working on a bunch of different projects, pretty much I do what Kaitlin tells me to do. She’s the boss since Professor O’Donnell left yesterday. So for my STAR right up I’m just going to do the individual thermotolerances of the army ants. Not really too exciting yet. I’ve done two different trials from two different colonies. They all seem to die at around the same temperature which could be interesting since there is an extreme difference between the size of soldiers and small workers. The small workers small stature, as the name suggests, have a larger surface area to volume ratio so we expect them to die off first. Even if this turns out to be not incredibly thrilling, I am in Costa Rica. Doing field work. 
We figured out a couple days ago that you can never depend on ants to die when it is appropriate and convenient. Earlier this week we had a potluck dinner with some of the quakers and residences we made met earlier. We were suppose to be there at 6:30 so we started at three thinking: “this can’t possibly take 3 hours.” Well I’ll be damned if the little suckers refused to die until 6:30. Even then we had two still barely wiggling an antennae. Late for dinner, our stomach growling in protest at the wait, we drive over to the Lawton’s where we had a most pleasant evening with very good food and conversation. Tessa and Siobhan spent most of the evening quietly sitting in the corner. That is until Tessa lets out a random outburst in the middle of everything directed at Jessie (Mr. Lawton’s assistant): “Is that the only shirt you own?” 
Dead Silence then we all burst out laughing. Apparently Jessie only brought down 3 pairs of cloths. The cloths we saw him in at the coffee meet and greet were indeed the same ones as the potluck. Only Tessa was observant enough to realize this fact. 
Today was the third time we attempted to reach the trail system behind the abandoned house. Though we made it farther than when we went out with Professor O’Donnell, the mountain defeated us once more and we were forced to turn back, mainly because we had no idea where we were going. It just goes to show you that we, even armed with machetes, are not all powerful.
Today also marks our first day completely by ourselves. So we spent it walking a bunch of the high elevation trails. Which we had to first get up to. Another morning spent hiking, staring at your feet in search of army ants and wandering around people’s farms that we hopefully have permission to be on. We did find one colony but it is not so shockingly well covered and unusable. Poo. We had a great dinner of black bean soup that I threw together (after boiling the crap out of beans which took forever to soften) and then spend a girls night together and watch/recited Pride and Prejudice. Kaitlin ran into a wall, Tessa moved out of our shared room into the now spare one and I got up the nest morning to go running! HURRAH! 
As a side note, please enjoy this picture of a GIANT tree we found yesterday.

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