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Archive for August 16th, 2010


With my head in the shape that it is in, I decide to sleep in. The allure of birds does not exceed my painfully dull and achy head. The shower is cold and brings me to life. On my way back to the cabin, I notice a steady trickle of ants going over the porch. Hopefully that is as far as they will go. I also notice that I have accumulated a large quantity of cuts, scrapes, and bruises over the last few days.

At breakfast, we learn that Sarah is not feeling well. She was vomiting and had a fever. I give her my antibiotics, as I have not had any intestinal problems.

We head up to the vine tangle again to do more planting. This time I only take ten trees. I seem to be a glutton for punishment. Today, I am on hole digging duty. This job is also difficult, as the vines’ roots are thick and matted. Although this prevents erosion, it also prevents anything else from growing.

Later, we work on projects. The trail crew is a bit in efficient, as we are down Sarah and I am not nearly at 100 percent. We work on the stair section of trail. This is a particularly steep and muddy section.  Ricardo did not like our switchback over an existing gully because it could not be spanned by a wooden bridge due to horses. The trails here are public thoroughfares, so we cannot prevent horses from tramping down our trails and wreaking havoc on the path system. Filling in the gully with soil would also not work as it would be washed away in a rain storm.

Working on the trails

We have a discussion on herpetology. In the tropics, the constantly warm temperatures and widely available food allow for a multitude of amphibians and snakes. After our lecture, we discover that the ants have overrun our cabin. I recall a short story about hordes of ants attacking a plantation. The plantation owner tries to put up barriers of fire and water, and yet he barely manages to survive, but not before his plantation is destroyed. I hope my clothes are safe. It would be a terrible fate to literally have ants in your pants.

After dinner we ask Jeff to go for a night hike with us. He initially agrees, but then rescinds because he must go with the girls to pick up their laundry. So, Bianca, Elise, Greg, and I go alone. The rainforest is a completely different place at night. I have grown accustomed to seeing everything during the day, and as a result my fear of venomous snakes has disappeared. At night, however, a fer-de-lance is under every log and a bushmaster is ready strike near every root. Our headlamps flash through the undergrowth and create odd shapes and shadows in the vegetation. Perhaps it is the fear of the unknown which drives our plodding pace as we search for frogs and snakes. We see little new: a few red and blue poison dart frogs and a frog species which we cannot identify. It is primarily a light gray color with flecks of orange. Night hikes put all of your senses to the test. Everything is at the height of its awareness. Your sense of smell and hearing seems heightened. Your sense of sight is focused on a small beam generated by the headlamp. As a result, you notice much more of what occurs around you, despite the wall of darkness that seems impenetrable by nothing save for your light and hides what lies around every corner.

Litter frog

Red and blue poison dart frog

Unknown frog

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