Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 10 - Manglation

Date: 7/10/12

Start: Playa Blanca, Puerto Jimenez
End: Playa Blanca, Puerto Jimenez

Word of the day: araña mono - Spider Monkey
Turtle Fact:  You can tell the exact age of a turtle by looking at the thickness/layers, of the carapace (top shell). The only way to see this is to cut open the shell, which means the turtle would die. No Bueno 

OHHH SHIT - this was the first thought that went through my head. I forgot to set the alarm. Luckily it was ONLY 5:30am. Sometimes, I think I was born to be a farmer...

I go for a short run this morning and get some pictures along the way. We chillax a little after breakfast and begin netting (the art of untangling our turtle net on land in an open area, so that the next time we go out to catch turtles, it doesn't take forever to setup).

Lunch. After our food digests, we wait for the tide to get low (around 1pm). We grab a couple wheel barrels and head south down the beach towards the Mangrove nursery. We actually walk past the nursery to a known area where mud is present during low tide. This area happens to be near the mouth a off a river, which is full of nutrients and the sediment mangroves like. We only fill the wheel barrels 1/3 way full as we would never be able walk them down a beach with any more weight than that. After making four trips to nursery and dumping the mud in a flower bed, we begin preparing the mangrove planting sleeves.

Essentially we fill a small plastic bag 1/3 the way full with mud. Then we added a mangrove seedling, that had been picked from a tree, planted in the ground for several weeks (so roots can form), to the plastic bag. We continue to fill the bag with mud until an inch from the top. These are then sat in a flower box upright for another 3-4 weeks or until the mangrove has gotten significantly larger and the plastic bag is full of roots. We continue to package mangroves for the next couple of hours until we run out of seedlings.

After we wash up, we set out for a little nature walk in the forest near our house in hopes to see a mono (monkey- if you didn't gather from above). The tour Shay gave us is one of the standard tours he would give a volunteer group that visits this project site. There was lots of insects, noisy birds and green vegetation. We come across this tree, and Shay looks back with a big "Bear Grills" like smile. He scrapes his finger along a tree and breaks what looks to be muddy tunnel that runs the height of the tree. His other hand catches the scrapings and he explains that this is a termite tunnel. They build these to travel safely from predators while transporting food. On that note, he picks one of them up in between his fingers and puts it in his mouth... "taste like peanut butter. However, sometimes they taste like mint. I don't know why..."

We continue the hike and find lots of large spiders, tree crabs, and loud birds. No monkeys. Disappointed we retire back to the house for dinner.

While eating dinner (Snapper , which was AWESOME) I notice something very strange. IT WAS NOT RAINING! Yes, one night and no rain. Awesome... or is it. As the night continued, I saw/felt an increasing about of bug bites. Soon enough I learned the correlation. Rain = less bugs at night.

To stay away from the bugs, Shay, Ricardo, Paula and myself played several games of a$$whole (card game). Good times. Sleep.

*Manglation: a term that was made up today - soon to be found in the urban dictionary :)

Lesson:
  • When it doesn't rain, apparently the bugs really come out and are hungry. 
  • When walking through a rain forest - make sure to look where you are walking. You can easily loose "site" as you are looking everywhere (tree tops, a distant leaf or the bug that's on the leg)
  • If you think you have a bug on you, you probably do.
  • I forgot, but then re-remembered. Coconut milk stains your clothes a rusty color. Oh well. 
  • When hiking the best spot is to behind the leader. They walk into all the spider webs... unless they are shorter than you.

Food:  Snapper Fish (not sure what type)
Animals: Spiders, Birds, Termites, Jesus Christ Lizard, Butterflies, Crabs, Horses 

Something I don't want to admit: So when I said I went on a little run today, I actually only went a quarter mile. I was only that far (with all the intentions on doing a small 2 mile loop) when I tripped over myself and sprained my ankle. Stupid soccer ankles - almost like my Achilles heal. Now my ankle looks like a mini softball. No worries though, it's nothing a little ibuprofen and time can't fix. So I ended up limping back towards the house, stopping to take some pictures on the way.   

Days of Rain: 6/7 - No Rain. All bugs


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