Life as a falconer, insect systematist, and double Masters Student (or a look into the mind of someone who is questionably sane).
23 June 2006
Getting ready to head to west TX by way of dallas and santa fe. 2 more days in college station before this happens though. I stole 4 malaise traps from woolley and a generator from oz so the insects arnt safe. Since getting back from dallas ive just been drawing pictures of neuroptera wings, watching movies (ive watched 5 movies in the last 3 days, more than in the last month), and finding new ways of harrassing woolley. Big news is Chris Dietrich, big leafhopper guy, will be in town for a couple days in july. Looks like ill be able to come and meet with him for a day or so.
These pictures are from the boiling lake. The 1st is the view from the trail and the 2nd one is the steam coming off of the lake. It was a 12 mile hike over ultra slick steps some of which were so tall you had to pull yourself up. The hike was crazy with some major elevation changes but really cool. There are a few spots where there are 1000 ft drops on both sides of the trail which is maybe 4 ft wide. One year woolley had just finished warning the class about it, turned around, and stepped off the edge. Luckily he grabbed onto some stuff on the way down and one of the guides pulled him out. Apparently the 1st thing he said after being put back on the trail was "I still have my bugs". I loved the valley of desolation. There are a bunch of vents and small pools of boiling water. Minerals make the water look grey in most parts, but some parts are jet black or yellowish. It was pretty neat looking. At the boiling lake we ate lunch and i collected some click beetles. They were the smallest elaterids i have seen maybe .5 inches long. While we were hanging around the lake the guide who saved woolley appeard with a couple other people. After an hour or so we all went back down the trail. Along the way we decided it would be sweet to collect in this area, cammack and i invision a 1000 pan grid in the valley along with lights. Maybe a malaise trap or 2 on the top of the peak you have to climb over although its so windy up there the trap would be torn to shreads pretty quick. The hike wasnt as bad as I thought it would be, i think i finally figured out how to walk on the slick log steps without falling or sliding around too much. Major plus