Early Up the River

Made a jungle message to send to Kitty

 

6/3/2012
Got an early morning ride with Ummat and Yann. Went to Rio Frijole on pipeline road. Peter had explored this area earlier and tipped Ummat off to groves of helaconia trees. Takes 20 mins of river walking to get into the growth. Ummat finds his hemipterans on these plants. Males and epsecially mating couples are the prized catches. He forgot his net and so uses his fast, determined hands to snatch bugs off the strange fruit.

He goes on my shoulders to catch the high- ups. I begin to think about capturing basilisks on video and walk into knee-deep mud pit. There’s something special about practiced bug hands; this is a skill I want to master.

  

I find a sandy bank colony of Atta (leaf cutter ants); perform some scent testing experiments. See if squashed abdomen juice will draw ants near. Results seem unclear. Stephen Pratt later tells me that smashing up ant abdomens isn’t quite the same as them delicatley mixing the right cocktail of foraging pheromones.

 

I hear a manakin bird cracking and try to chase the sound into the jungle, but it gets unmovabley thick.

Peter’s Tent-Making bats chew a leave and make a little tent for themselves.