A few hours after I wrote my last post something really exciting happened. Anthony came back from night herping with some friends. He brought back an Imantodes (a slug eating specialist snake). They have huge eyes and are totally adorable. I spent a good amount of time holding it. They camoflauge by acting like twigs so at a certain point they just stop moving and chill on your hand. It's awesome. But the most exciting thing is I got to hold a caiman! Ok, admittedly it was a baby caiman, not longer than 3 ft from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail, but still! It was totally adorable, had beautiful eyes and was very soft. It was also quite calm which was nice, although I was still able to keep a firm grip when it struggled. I even held it without tape on its mouth. (Totally safe though.)
Yesterday was somewhat uneventful. I spent a lot of time up at the tower trying to find lizards with Anthony. No luck. The guides from the resort have started recognizing me, which is funny. I wonder what they'll talk to the tourists about when the sweaty herpetologists leave... It was fun though. As Anthony pointed out, even if you can't find the lizards, you're still in a gorgeous forest. This morning was more of the same. Pretty walk; few lizards. My only worry is that I'll still want to eat as much after I stop walking 7 + miles a day.
This may very well be my last post about Panama. Unless something remarkable happens on the trip home. We leave tomorrow morning. (I fly to Miami w/ Anthony at 7am!) I'll be back in CA by 3:30pm Pacific time. It was a lot of fun, exhausting and at times frustrating for a number of reasons. Still, if any of you ever have the chance to do field work, do it. How often do you get a chance to see motmots and black vultures (like the one running across the backyard right now) as you're eating breakfast?
- held a snake and a caiman!
- the lizards are gone
- I'm outta here!