Saturday, October 30, 2010

Waterfall Hike

We've had a couple new arrivals, and starting today our numbers are going to start increasing by leaps and bounds. This means a lot more trips to the field, with lots of different sampling techniques going on at once. And that means a lot more time in the lab for processing: anethetizing, photographing, subsampling, preserving. It's going to start getting crowded in here.

For one of our trips, Vetea (who lives and works here) took John, Yasunori, and I to look for terrestrial and freshwater molluscs in the area around Afareaitu Waterfall and the stream it feeds. The foliage was very dense in places, and we hiked around for about 4 hours fighting our way uphill through the vegetation.

But we did eventually make it to the waterfall.

Where we did some collecting around the pool at the base. Yasunori has a special interest in the nerite group of freshwater snails. He even found one that he had described as a species eight years ago.

While we were poking around the waterfall several more groups came and went, which was surprising considering how much of an effort it took us to get there. Then we realized there was a trail, which we weren't too proud to take on the way back to the car. Taking the trail down did nothing to diminish my sense of smug superiority over those who had taken the trail both ways!

So far every collecting trip has yielded new species for the biocode project, and my collecting skills are improving daily. Things are starting to get busy!

:) Mandy


Badger, Bob said...

Wonderful photos. I'll bet it smells like heaven there.

mhb said...

What a spectacular waterfall!