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Field work with Nature Live

2 Posts tagged with the yeti tag
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I was just about to submit today’s blog when Holger rushed back from a walk to say he had seen a huge Tapir – maybe 1.2 metres tall. He said it caused the earth to vibrate! I ran down to the river to catch it crossing - have a look, it’s a bit shaky but I was very excited. It’s very rare to see a Tapir here so I am very chuffed with myself for catching it on film.

 

I also filmed the others’ reaction back at the hut.

 

 

(If you listen carefully you can hear Daniel, once the camera had swung away from the Tapir and was showing my feet on the computer screen, saying, ‘Wow, A Yeti!’)

 

The weather today was sunny and warm – a glorious day, so with my life in my hands, I ventured up a very rickety ladder on to the roof of the hut, which gave me a good view of the forest near by.

 

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(Click images to see them full size)

 

I spent the day with Holger, who is a lichenologist. He talked me through some of the things he has found so far on the trip and why lichens are such an amazing tool to understand an environment such as the one here in the Talamanca Mountains.

 

(My apologies for the low quality of the film but I had to make it smaller to be able to upload it - I'll see if I can update it to a higher resolution version later)

 

At night, once the generator has been turned off we our at the mercy of our head lamps.

 

We enter the world of things that flutter in the night. Beautiful and bizarre, I made a short clip from photos Alex took last night, after lights out.

 

 

And speaking of flutterers – I had a visitor to the laptop today.

 

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My keyboard must be pretty filthy and he/she spent a good 5 mins tasting it!

 

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Species of the day goes to Holger and joins up today’s themes nicely! It is a lichen in the genus Dictyonema (most probably D. sericeum)

 

 

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And it is species of the day because it could be confused (or vice versa) with one of the moths from last night. What amazing camouflage!

 

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Tomorrow, I am going to report on a day with the florwering plant team and attempt a tropical bioblitz.

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Last night we had lentils instead of beans and I almost cried with joy. They were amazing and had small pieces of pork nestling in the juice. Yum...

 

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A bit of yeti red-eye going on there!
(Click images to see them full size)

 

I have been given a nickname by Daniel, our Costa Rican collaborator. He is known as Santa - to be fair, that is his actual name (he’s Daniel Santa Maria) - and I am now known as ‘Yeti’ - due to my large boots.

 

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Daniel amused himself no end with jokes about collecting Yeti footprints for the Museum. My Spanish is too poor to be clever in the response so I’m accepting my fate: I am the mythical giant of the Himalayas with huge boots.

 

In the night we were woken by an earthquake - it felt quite gentle (we were sleeping on the floor) but this report shows it was actually quite strong!

 

I was sleeping so deeply that my main emotion was one of annoyance at being awoken rather than fear. Still, an experience none the less!

 

We got up early, had a second bash at the lentils and set off for our collecting site for the day – Cerro Tararia. The walk was incredible, a lot of scrambling up and down.

 

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This place is amazing, a rocky outcrop with views that stretch for miles.

 

 

We are 2,730 metres above sea level and our coordinates today are N 09 08 52.0 W 082 58 02.7 (click to see on a map).

 

The sound is a little obscured at times in the film above due to the wind (sorry about that), but you can make out Alex saying that Panama isn't far from where we are, and the border is visible on the map linked above.

 

The views from the top are stunning.

 

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Species of the day is a member of the genus Schultesia. Daniel is not sure whether it is a new species or not but he has never before seen a Schultesia with purple flowers as they are normally white.

 

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Alex and Neil were discussing what it could be pollinated by and decided it was probably bats. The flower’s pistil and stamen are quite a long way apart from each other and it has a long tubular corolla, so a bat’s long tongue would be the perfect tool!

 

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We are just debating whether to sleep on the rock or walk back to the camp. Sleeping out here would be incredible. I’ll let you know if we did or not tomorrow!