So I forgot to talk about last week! Last week at work was a lot of fun, actually. Well, Monday we spent all day cleaning out the garage storage closet, so that was... amusing, at least, but dunno that I'd say fun. But we spent the rest of the week doing field trips to cool places!
Tuesday Dennis took us to Cooper's Forest to train us on pig sign/mosquito habitat transects. This forest is really close by, just outside of the National Park... it's full of stawberry guava and faya and kahili and pigs and mosquitoes, but otherwise is a really pretty forest, and as you go deeper in you find some pretty cool plants. Also, as I was hiking along I felt an itch on the side of my face and reached for it reflexively and got my fingers on a bug-type thing, and I grab it and look at my fingers and it's a happy face spider. THERE WAS A HAPPY FACE SPIDER. CRAWLING DOWN THE SIDE OF MY FACE. (For context, this is an endemic spider with a distinctive happy face pattern on its abdomen; they are found nowhere else in the world, and they are tiny and hard to find. AND THIS ONE CRAWLED DOWN MY FACE. ...Do a Google image search, guys, even arachnophobes think this spider is cute.) I was afraid I'd crushed her, but she was fine. And she seemed to develop Stockholm syndrome because I had great difficulty getting her to leave me and go back on some bushes. ...SO COOL.
Wednesday we accompanied Carter to Malama Ki in lower Puna, to set up poles for mist-netting. This one area has a population of malaria-tolerant amakihi and apapane; generally, below a certain elevation you just don't find honeycreepers at all, but there they were, lots of them, at sea level. It was surreal and super exciting. Had fun botanizing down there, too, and we found Jackie's GeoCache, "Groom A Wookie", and it was hot and sunny and beautiful and Carter bought us Slurpees after. ^_^
Thursday we went to Ainahou (a dry forest section of the National Park with a historic ranch house and a nene breeding ground) to collect old poles, check up on the mamane bloom, and look for mosquitoes. This took a couple of hours, and then we headed down toward Hilo and the Wailuku River so Dennis could give us stream margin-dipping/puddle critter identification training. But first we took a detour to Jackie's house to see her Pez collection, and to Dennis' house to let his dogs out, and we stopped at Ace Hardware in Kea‘au to buy supplies, and basically it didn't at all feel like we were working. XD; And it was gorgeous in Hilo, and we got to poke around in puddles and look at bugs which is, like, how I spent my childhood, so that didn't feel like work either. And afterwards Dennis took the very very scenic route through Pu‘ueo (in the wrong direction) and took a winding, leisurely route through town before getting back on the highway, and, yeah, the whole day was hilarious and lazy and like a vacation.
...I missed some fun this weekend, though. Like ten of the interns went camping in Pololu Valley, which I really would've liked to join them for if I wasn't doing archaeology on O'ahu. STILL WANT THAT TIME TURNER. ...I feel like a lame human being, I've lived here my whole life and never even seen Pololu, and Matt's only been here a year and he's been, like, three times.
Speaking of housemate Matt, he left us this morning. ;_; But at least we scored his food and coffee and beer. :D His replacement came in this morning as well... I have already forgotten her name. WHAT, I'VE BEEN BUSY. She seems nice, though. ^_^
Aaaaaaand that's all the time I have, need to go back to the office, now. Hopefully Carter's ready to go, so we can go to Hakalau already.
BYE GUYS I LOVE YOU I'LL SEE YOU ALL IN JUNE IF I DONT' DIE. :DDDDDD