This morning started out so promising when we saw some Scarlett Macaws. Things went downhill (and uphill and downhill and up some larger hills) from there.

Today we set up camera traps to answer our question “what is the impact of human pathways on local species composition and richness in Chiquibul Forest?” We will look specifically at roads and pathways vs. natural clearings. We had 12 camera traps to set up and we were very ambitious in how far away we wanted to put each camera from one another. Our hike lasted all day (with a short break for lunch and bandages at 3), and we hiked a total of 13.47 miles (and apparently some 120 flights of stairs according to Adrienne’s fitbit).

During the hike I saw thousands of arachnids scurrying underfoot, and one huge wolf spider (about 3 in including its legs). We also became very acquainted with our new best friend: the tick. I pulled about 5 or 6 off of myself before dinner.

Elaborate spider web along the trail.
Elaborate spider web along the trail.

During the hike, my feet started killing me around 12pm when I realized that the pads of my heels were rubbing against my sock in a weird way. I spent the rest of the hike with moleskin sweating off of me as we hiked up to our highest point of 685 meters in elevation. We saw some fabulous long wing butterflies at the bird tower observation deck, which was our highest camera trap point.

There was much sweat and pain, so I certainly hope we get something good from these camera traps. Next stop: ant experiments.

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