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lunes, 25 de julio de 2011

I’ve dug myself a hole…but have a tail with a happy ending.

Well actually I’ve dug myself 50 holes, and I have to be honest I didn’t actually do much digging (thanks boys!). However I am now the proud owner of 5 pit fall trap line arrays and I am finding some really cool herps. One of my newest lines is in a field of long grass and cacti (you know the sort, the wild wild west style cacti!) anyway within hours of digging in the buckets I caught an Amevia amevia – a lovely very colourful lizard - which is yet another new record for Laguna Blanca. And its not only reptiles and amphibians I’m getting in my new traps; yesterday I found a tiny baby opossum politely waiting for me to come along and let it go. The cute factor was quite high it has to be said!

It’s not only in the trap lines where I’m finding things though, in the last few days I have seen 2 massive snakes, neither of which we have in our museum… and neither I actually managed to catch either (sigh!). However I did manage to get the snake that was on Aimee’s transect and am happy to report that on closer inspection it wasn’t a deadly Bothrops but merely a rattlesnake (!), still highly venomous but not nearly as aggressive. Better still we have enough specimens of rattlesnakes so I was able to relocate it into another part of the forest where it can live out its days being no harm to anyone.

On a slightly sadder note we said goodbye to Claire, Jamie and Joe last night; three amazing, hardworking and flexible volunteers that will be sorely missed. It has to be admitted their departure could have gone a bit more smoothly. The car was all packed and we were ready to go when it became apparent a passport had gone AWOL! However, after much rummaging it was eventually found again (phew!). Then, as we were driving out of the reserve (its pitch black by now!) we bumped over something. “POP - FIZZ” is not a sound you want to hear when you are in the middle of nowhere with a flight to catch (or, in my case, get volunteers to). A front tyre had burst and our hearts sank. However all was not lost (it never is) and we had a plan B. A quick call to Karina and within ½ hour Luke arrived on the motoloco and sped off into the night with the volunteers all piled onto the back. Not the warmest or most comfortable of trips but they all got to the bus stop in plenty of time for their onward journeys. Which just goes to show that even when disaster strikes there is always a solution and never any need to panic!

I then returned to the house to find it over run with army ants- hurrah!

See you next time folks

Helen

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