The hardest part

While my own waiting period has nothing to do with guns, I am always reminded of this scene from The Simpsons whenever I have some waiting to do. Come to think of it, that Tom Petty song usually springs to mind as well. Not surprisingly, my own waiting game comes from my spider samples. The…

Back to Reality

When I check my blog feed from time to time, I do see that I still receive visitors, which makes me feel bad that I haven’t had the opportunity to post for so long. Truth is, these past two months since I have returned from Panama have been the busiest I can ever remember, and…

Honeybees and the history of colonization

I jumped ahead in my planned narrative to share the most recent events, so now I’ll roll back a week and a half, when I was back in Mexico. There is still one story that I wanted to tell. Now I must admit that my understandings of the origin of Cancún as a tourist destination,…

The big news (well… sort of)

This could be a huge discovery, something I never anticipated–I may have just found a second vegetarian spider. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, mostly because I’ve been away from WiFi for much of the past week, but before I get caught up on everything that’s happened, I wanted to get this message out there. With…

The long march from Akumal

My last day in Mexico was one where the weather finally cooperated, if no rain is what could be called cooperation. It was also extremely hot, which should probably have been expected, because those ocean breezes didn’t reach where I was. There weren’t mosquitoes like Palo Verde, although there were a couple of high-pitched buzzes…

Sushi in Mexico

To celebrate what I thought were a pretty good three days of Bagheera kiplingi collection outside the towns of Akumal and Chemuyil, I went back to Playa del Carmen (the city where I was staying) and decided to have some sushi. Believe it or not, Mexico is where I first ate sushi, when I was studying abroad…

Three days of spider hunting in the Yucatán

As I had feared, my Internet connection wasn’t very reliable during my time in Mexico, so I haven’t really been able to post much until now. That’s not to say I couldn’t access the Internet completely, but the connections went in and out, which made it difficult to write anything that would take more than…

Where the Age of Dinosaurs met its end.

Here is the location of Playa del Carmen, for comparison. At least I’m on the same peninsula. Chixulub is the Mayan name for a town, with “ch’ic” meaning a flea or tick, and “xulub” meaning a devil or demon. It’s also named for a massive crater discovered nearby, which measures 180 kilometers in diameter (110…

Travel Day–San Jose, Costa Rica to Mexico, D.F. to Cancun

The next step in my research will be in and around Akumal, Mexico, where Bagheera kiplingi is 90% vegetarian (opposed to 60% in Costa Rica). I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get some good samples for internal and external imaging, as well as DNA from bacteria that might be shared between the spiders and ants. My…

My last day in Palo Verde (maybe I’ll miss it here).

Okay, so I definitely won’t miss the mosquitoes, which were swarming so thick that they actually got through my shirt and filled my back with bumps. Yet nature still had some ways of surprising me today; it was as if everyone came out to say goodbye (even the blood-sucking insects). Besides seeing two while tailed…

Another day, another insect.

I looked it up, and it appears to be true that termite males and females go through a winged, “alate” form before they mate and become a new king and queen. That explains the pile of wings on my floor two mornings ago. Now I do have to admit some respect for the termite, because…

Bien metido.

Bien metido is a Panamanian term, and I’m not sure if it’s the same in Costa Rican Spanish. There are some definite differences in language (as I’ve learned) since the word tranque (Panamanian Spanish for a traffic jam) doesn’t exist here and a small restaurant in Costa Rica is apparently called a soda (Coca-cola is a gaseosa, then). What…