Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Camera Reborn!!

I have a replacement camera!! AMAZING!! Of course it arrived after I got back from the field but it’s ok! Expect original photography commencing tomorrow.

Yesterday (Monday) we had a short day, just collecting Malaise traps from four kipuka. It was very low-key and we finished around 1:30, so I had time to bike around for a couple hours running some errands. I returned my super lame rainpants, got 7 more papayas for $1, and got a turtle bottle-opener so that Jake and I could give it to Devin for his birthday. Apparently he’s been using his car key and it’s all munched, so we thought it would be a nice gesture and actually useful.

Today was a LONG DAY. 12 hours of field work is a lot!! I biked to work today, and it’s all uphill. I actually ended up walking my bike for a good part of it because I got too tired to bike! Luckily I’m listening to a pretty good podcast book – Murder on Avadon Hill – and that kept me entertained. I finally arrived and it took us awhile to get situated and ready to go out, but we made it down the infamous Power Line road (which requires 4 wheel drive and some serious skill to manage the lava rocks).

Jake and I set out 7 Malaise traps while Devin and Bernice cut branch clippings and set out rat traps. Here’s a photo of the rat traps, with little pieces of coconut nailed to the center as bait. Mmmm. We went through 3 coconuts to get one with enough meat, and Jake used a machete to open it up. SO AWESOME! I love that Devin owns 3 machete, and that the US Forest Service has several available. Ridiculous! I drove us out, meaning I had my first 4 wheel drive experience and it was fine!! I only bottomed out once! Granted, I think the SUV we were using today is easier to drive than the truck, but still we usually bottom out 4-5 times just because the lava rock is so vicious.

We got back to the lab and set out the branch clippings so we could use the aspirator to suck up the bugs. See the photo for some of the stuff that fell off the branches! It was fun, as usual, although by that time it was about 5 PM and we’d been at work since 7 AM so we were all pretty tired. I also didn’t bring enough snackage, so I’ll make sure to do that from now on. Here’s a photo of me with the aspirator, using it like a cigar. Much like cigars, ethanol tastes pretty gross. How appropriate!

Tomorrow we start at 7 again, and now I know that it takes me about 25 minutes to bike/walk to work so I’ll plan accordingly. I’m going to be in good shape because of this though, I can feel it!

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