Saturday, July 17, 2010

Days 8 and 9…. Toad Pen; start to finish (ish)

It’s going to get progressively harder for me to write every day, so I’m going to try and keep it to every other day. The day before yesterday, I started building the toad pen. As I began, I realized that I bought the wrong connectors. I bought ones that had threading on one side, for screwing in other pieces. The threading made it too small to insert the pipes and have them stay. Bummer! We tried to put the pen together anyway, and just duct tape all the pieces together. It worked, but barely held. Also, we realized as we went that my design was way too tall; the pen I imagined was 16’ x 4’ x 4’, and 4’ was way too tall. I caught a toad that night outside of the house and watched him hop around for a bit, then decided to cut my design in half, and build the pen 2’ high.

That night I went down to the school to feed Wart while Lynne went out into the field. She had a good night; 2 males, 1 female, and 3 couples (9 frogs total). We met back at the school around 11, and took some supplies to Ximena, who was at the fly cage (bat area) with Rachel, Sara and Martha. We watched them take blood samples from the two frog-eating bats that they had, then Ximena and I walked around to check out the area and figure out where we could set up my experiments. We looked at some site and decided it was best to come back during the day and look some more.

We got back to the school around 12:15, worked up the 9 frogs (which took forever!), and took them back to release them. We finally made it home around 2:30 a.m. When we went downstairs to check our email, Sara and Martha were in the lab “scheming”… they wanted to go to pizza and a movie on Friday night. We said yes, of course, let’s all go!

On Friday, Martha drove me into town yet again to get the new connecters, and a few things for Ximena. I set to work building my pen the right way, and even though I forgot zip ties (to hold the sides of the pen together), I got it pretty much finished!

Friday was great; aside from building the pen, I hung around the house, watched a movie, played on the computer, etc. etc. It was like having a real day off. By 5:00 p.m., no one had firmed up the movie plans yet, and I was really enjoying my day “off”, so I decided to myself that I probably wasn’t going to go. When it came time to leave, and we realized there were six people and only room for 5 comfortably in the truck, I decided to hang back at the house. :) I made dinner, had a beer, watched a movie, and Skyped with Hil for 4 hours. I would say that’s a pretty nice night to myself!

Today I have to cut and sew the mesh fabric for the sides of the toad pen. I am hoping to have the whole thing finished by Monday, so we can start the phonotaxis experiments then. We’ll see what happens!

1 comment:

  1. Are you getting attached to the little amphibians? Will (can?) you take any of them with you?

    Your story makes me curious how many types of animals you guys are working with?

    Hmmmm, pizza and a movie in Panama! Sounds like home but exotic! Glad you ended up getting a breather*…