Day 4 – Research Day

Hola todo el mundo, It’s Sam and Katherine reporting live from finca la anita on dia quatro. We woke up at 7:16 am for another delicious breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, toast, beans and rice. After breakfast we continued our experiments from yesterday involving cultivating the fungal gardens, however we also extracted escovopsis (invading fungi). While other groups finished their extraction, we began planning our main experiments. We took a short break for lunch which was mexican fried rice, plantain tortillas and refried beans. Katherine and I took a treacherous stroll back to our cabin during a downpour to get our raincoats. After lunch we continued to develop our experiments and began constructing our proposals to be presented later that night. Next, we had another short break in which we enjoyed coffee and a variety of pastries made by the kitchen staff. After our quick “fuel-up”, some continued to work on proposals while others took another “hike” to find active leaf cutter ant trails. Eventually we found one! Everyone was very excited, especially Mrs. Sheehan who even compared the experience to that of National Geographic! Most took a few up-close shots of the ants and George wanted to take a closer look at a soldier ant by picking it up on a stick but when he lost sight of it, he threw the stick and fled. On the walk back, we encountered a few flying coconuts!! Once we returned to the ranch we moseyed on over to dinner and appreciated the american-style beef stroganoff and potatoes.  Following dinner we went back to the classroom to present our proposals. It was fun to see all of the other groups ideas and are excited to see how everyone’s experiments will work out! During the presentations however, the moths launched another surprise attack on unsuspecting victims Angelina and Andrew Martin, unlike Angelina, Andrew decided to fight back with a swift karate kick towards the attacker!! After the presentations while getting ready for the next activity, cabin Trinitario had a frightening guest, a snake!!! Thankfully, Pablo and his trusty machete came to the rescue. However, the highlight of the day (ironically) was the night hike! It was an optional experience that many choose to partake in. Since Costa Rica contains 4% of the species on earth, we expected to see lots of interesting creatures, and that hypothesis was correct! One of the first “stops” on the tour, we saw the fascinating yet dangerous Bullet Ants. They get their name because their sting feels exactly, if not worse than getting shot. Luckily no one was stung!! Once again a snake was also spotted but from a distance. A few other cool creatures we saw included a glass frog, nighthawk, katyvid, and fishing spider (pictures to come). The fright in the night makes us miss the cold Minnesota winters and a little homesick! More to come, hasta luego!!

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