Sun was rising just before 7am. Northerners such as myself (and geocachers) relish the longer days. As Missouri is headed toward 15 hours (or more) of blessed sunlight, the tropics sit at more or less a constant 12 all year round. Down with A to the restaurant down stairs. We got a free breakfast for staying at the hostel. I chose the Western Breakfast. Two eggs (yolks unbroken - icky), two pieces of toast, coffee with lots of sugar and heavy cream, a thin slice of ham, and a hotdog/sausage. The table with the coffee and tea sits with its legs in bowls of water. Protection from the ants. A has promised to take it easy on me today, apparently Bob has bad jet lag the first full day. I didnít. Back to the room I showered. Twice a day, just before rest and just after rise, is an acceptable shower schedule. We picked up DaNong (not even close, but its phonic if you cover one ear and squint). Then went to pick up another young lady at the train station. Over to the bank to exchange money and on to the lab. A three story building with a courtyard in the middle. Weíre on the second floor.
Hanging around the lab, I met the Professor whom is a Co-PI (Principal Investigator) for the grant A is getting money from. A and I went through the supplies we had, plenty for now. Lunch was a large outdoor affaire with more different kinds of food than one could imagine.
I had rice, a whole boiled egg, some other stuff and grape drink. Cost about 60 or 70 cents. Not bad. Back at the lab I noticed a dragonfly. Its wings still possessed that glint of shine that speaks teneral. So I took its picture and not its life.
The FAA will not allow specimens to be transported in alcohol. So we spent a few hours transferring specimens that A had collected out of cups of alcohol and into small plastic ziplock bags with just a squirt of alcohol. After, I typed and prepared page one for the web.
We left around 6 with DaNong and picked up Bau. Driving at breakneck speeds to find a book store. I ask A how it was that he could navigate through traffic so well. He explained that eyes donít see everything, and mirrors lie, so he uses The Force. Honestly, itís a good explanation. The bookstore failed us so we went to eat. Monkey ("ling" in Thai) Club was the name of the restaurant. Nan met us there. Squid, shrimp, a fish (head and all), fruit, curry, pork, and a fried bananna with strawberry icecream! Back to the hostel by 10:30 pm for a shower and much needed sleep.
Poles- When we had lunch I noticed that the electrical poles are made of concrete. Why donít they use wood, I thought. Bad environment, wood would rot too quickly. Then I corrected myself., I come from the bad environment. A concrete pole would be affected by neither woodpecker nor rot, but in Missouri freezing would tear it down in just a few years.
Breakfast, to the lab, check email, round up equipment, and then in the car and on the road. Three of us went, A, Me, and Bau. We started up into the mountains. Thick forest on both sides of the highway. There are two lanes for going up, but only one for going down. We checked in at a station and then drove on to the first stop of the day.
I prepare The Big Net. I havenít swung at a dragonfly in 6 months, and never with this net. Some things need to be said about the differences between here and home. First of all, the dragons are faster. None of this flit around, poof, poof, land, sit a bit, flit around, poof, poof, land. Nope. These guys cruise. Also at home near water a good 50 to 60% of the movement (flying things) you can see are dragonflies. Here there is stuff flying everywhere! Big stuff too. Butterflies the size of my face keep getting in my way.
Did I catch any dragonflies? OH YES! We visited three sites (L-488, 489, and 490) and I got many different species of dragons and damsels at each.
A notable encounter: The last site of the day, and this butterfly was bugging me. Very beautiful, black wings with white spots. A bright orange body. I was scanning for damselflies. It finally started to fly away, but the wing movements just werenít right. Flashback! Two months ago, David Bowels is looking over my Megaloptera, A brings him a dingy, badly colored specimen. "These are beautiful in real life, but the alcohol takes the color away," says David. I spring into action, jump up from where I am, run across the creek, and almost take a swing at it with my aquatic net! I throw that down and frantically pull the sweep net from my belt. Its landed in thick branches, my first sweep prunes back a tree, but misses my quarry. It takes flight, a swing and a Catch! Not very good picture below (squirmy).
Quick pic of Killer spider then home for shower, and food. (Iíll tell about that later).