Monthly Archives: June 2012

Last Day and Yanayacu Summary

For the last few days there has been an Elderly American couple and 2 Ecuadorians staying. As it is my last day a few of us are making a meal for everyone including staff. It will be Indian style samosas with lentils and homemade nan bread,  Carot Juice and warm alcoholic spiced fruit salad.


Yanayacu is a really nice warm friendly place, very laid back but you are expected to work and use your initiative. It can rain alot and it is a little remote. But it an amazing place to be and learn a lot. I most certainly plan to return and if opportunity arose  I’d be more than happy  living  in area. If you’re not American you will have too get used too American slang lots of the use of Awesome and and people  thst cant understand that not everyone likes Peanut Butter  and (and too use the  right word) Jam

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Yesterday  at 5pm a few of us went for a pre dusk walk along  the Guacamayos Ridge or Inca Trail, we managed  to see some cool birds. On the way back we stopped in the good local restaurant I had a smoked trout filet which is a staple in the area, as it’s easily farmed and not to damaging  to the eco system  like cows. We also shared a plate of beetle grubs,  I had tried these last year in Coca with GVI. This time though they were a lot nice as they local one are a different  genus to the ones in Coca,  the skin is not as tough and they are as not as salty.

When we left  to go back to  base I sat in the back of the pickup truck and watched the world turn to darkness and meld into to warm blackness with thick candy floss like mist in the valleys. As we climbed the hill, it felt like being in a snow globe  surrounded by my own personal stars. It really  brought  home how much we corrupt the sky with light pollution. I decided the next house I own will not be in a city but not too remote though.

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Its now been quiet  for a week now, and there will not be any big groups until after I leave. It’s  nice though as its now just a relaxed family  atmosphere, we sometime cook  meals together  for all of  us. One of the girls from  the last group has stayed on for a few months to do some  caterpillar research. And finally I have my Caterpillar feeding  to under 80 as some have died but most have turned into pupae  or  death  by Parasitoid.  So I also check for any  Emerging Butterflies, Moths  or Parasitoids  and then record  it in book and stick the specimens in the freezer

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Fine Tuning

Andrea who was trained  by Lee Dyer and  who in the Caterpillar Project back in the USA. Today showed me some new plants i need to collect to feed some new caterpillars. So its fun as it means i have to go out into the forest  trails more and its something  new as feeding still over 100 caterpillars the same bamboo plant every 2 days although  interesting  can be a mind killer but Professor Tom Walla  has helped me fine tune the process  so its now running smoother.

Two  of  new caterpillars  are ones Lee Dyer found. They are from the Noctuidae Family but are thought to be a new species and as far as I’m aware this could be one of the only photos  on the Internet


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Taxonomy Talk

This evening  we had a very interesting talk by Dr Steven Stern and Guinevere Jones on Taxonomy,  and their experiences within their respective fields and naming of new species.  I  hope one day I’m lucky enough to discover some insect new to science.

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Colorado Mesa

A new university group arrived from Colorado  Mesa,  led by Professor Tom Walla and Dr Steven  Stern. Tom is a Parasitoid expert, so my main duties should become interesting.

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New Visitors and Training

After a very quiet week, today firstly Lee Dyer came for weekend. He is the Lead Investigator for the Caterpillar Project ( which is all over North and South America, funded  by The National Science Foundation. He was kind enough to give me some tips  and advice,  As  helping  with  the Caterpillar Project is one of my main duties here. Which is becoming easier as there is now currently  only 50 Caterpillars to feed as others have, died or mostly  become Chrysalis or  are affected the Parasitiods(Parasites). So now it’s a case of checking and recording  what happens and collecting the hatched adults for specimens.

Also  Guinevere  Jones another Wyominite  has come for 2 months to do research for her PhD with the help of her Boyfriend  David who is also a PhD  Student

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