Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yesterday I woke up early, per usual – I’m still getting used to the time difference. I ventured back to my café and Skyped a bit with Angie, which was really fun!! I went back to downtown Hilo and explored the shops again, and stopped to look at another little inland lake (see photo). There are a couple used bookstores, and I ended up getting the Lord of the Rings trilogy in all its glory, because those books will keep me busy for awhile at least. And I also found a Tom Clancy, John Grisham, and Murder She Wrote book for 35 cents each, so I should be set in terms of reading material. I lay out by the beach and read for a bit, soaking in Frodo’s discovery that he owns the One Ring. Pretty epic! There were also some cute bracelets at the farmer’s market, which is apparently set up every day (although Saturday is the biggest day), so I picked out a sea turtle one and plan on getting a fabulous bracelet tan to match my watch tan!

Jake arrived around 5:30ish and we ventured to Walmart yet again. I discovered a Taco Bell, so I plan on visiting and seeing if it’s up to snuff sometime in the near future.

On Saturday, I met a geriatric man named Gary at Long’s because he needed help reading a label. We got to talking, and he mentioned that he usually hires University of Hilo (UH) students to do gardening at his house. I said that I already had a full-time job, so I couldn’t help him out – but it also came up that he had a bunch of extra microwaves from University of Hilo students who had worked for him, moved away, and left their microwaves for him to deal with. So Jake, Devin, and I drove over to his house and saw that he did, in fact, have 3 microwaves and he let us take one! YAY!! (Dad, I just want you to know that I realized the potential sketchiness of this situation, which is why I brought my two burly man-friends).

Gary also showed us around his garden, which should more accurately be described as an oasis. I wish I’d taken pictures… he has his own river running through his backyard, and a koi pond (they were at least 2 feet long), and a goldfish pond, and a guppy pond, and an aviary with incredible tropical parrots, and two of the CUTEST DOGS EVERR (besides Beanie, of course). They’re a mix of border collie and some sort of sheep dog – their faces look exactly like Beanie, and they were a little sleeker and ADORABLE and wonderful. Anyways, it was a crazy experience to come out of just talking to someone at Long’s, and we got a microwave and an awesome tour of a sweet garden!


Today was my first day of work, and it involved lots of paperwork/training. Jake and I had to watch a 2 hour video about driving safety from the U.S. Forest Service, which was a lot of scare tactics mixed with terrible 90s fashion. There were 3 mullets, lots of high-waisted jeans, and some awesomely huge glasses.

We also made 33 litter-fall traps, which (as the name implies) are used to catch the debris that falls from the forest canopy. These will be used as proxies for the forest productivity in each kipuka. I took a picture of Jake using his $45,000-per-year education to do some extremely academic work (har har) and it wasn’t nearly as annoying as expected. We basically attach mesh to plastic frames using gauge wire, which is a bit hard on the hands but not too bad, and we’ll collect them 1 week after setting them up to see what the forest turnover is. It’s really cool!! We also had some awesome Hawaiian slack guitar playing in the background, and then some reggae, so we were entertained.

To define my terms:

“Kipuka” is the term for forest fragments, and we’ll be placing traps in 32 kipuka on the slopes of Mauna Kea.

“Malaise traps” are used in the canopy to trap insects, which we’ll later sort and have classified to see how species density and diversity change (see the attached photo).

I also have an access code for the Forest Service building!! AHHHHH THE POWER!! Tomorrow we’re actually going into the kipuka, so I’m going to try to take some good photos, and Devin has informed me that the crossbow will be accompanying us. Exciting!!

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