We have five nights remaining here, so I've been switching things into high gear, to the degree possible. That means two circadian experiments a day, one at noon, and one at about midnight, with whatever crickets we can catch. Even if we can't fill out our long-winged sample sizes, we can at least get information about the short-winged crickets, to compare with data from the lab. We've also managed to pinpoint one location that seems to have a slightly higher proportion of long-winged crickets, so I was able to run 3 long-winged females last night. L is also starting to have slightly better success with her pitfall traps: she managed to get another long-winged female this morning. Progress! We actually have a bare minimum sample size complete for the first tracer!
The blacklight hasn't really attracted much in the way of crickets, but there have been a lot of interesting and beautiful moths.
The exhaustion is cumulative. I am struggling to verbalize late at night, when I'm tired. I'm screwing up numbers. At least I'm catching myself...I think. Sample schedule: wake up, drink coffee, check the last-instar crickets for new adults. By 10 am, start prepping for the noon timepoint, which runs from 10:55-1:30. Eat lunch. Collapse in a puddle, or go to town for groceries. Prep for the evening timepoint. Eat dinner early, so we can get out to the cricket hunting grounds by dusk. Hunt crickets until 10 pm. Bring crickets back, run more experiments, wrap up by 1 am, try to unwind for 20 minutes, try to sleep as much as possible. Repeat.
I'm adding tons of photos to the album
. I want to run around more at night, to try and get pictures of the tarantulas out here (big, black, hairy, fast!). There are also some amazingly huge wolf spiders with abdomens the size of a quarter, that hang out in the same cracks where the crickets hide. They are so cool, but also shy, so it's hard to get pictures of them. We've gotten to watch the wolf spiders and the deer mice eat the crickets. There are lots of toads out, too. The nights are busy out there.