Today we all had time to relax and catch up on both sleep and food. Yesterday evening we all went down to hotel Uran to watch the opening of the Rio Olympics. Easier to watch here than at home where it was in the middle of the night. In the afternoon we went down to San Gerardo to do some grocery shopping again. Normally this is just on Sundays but as we are going back up the mountain tomorrow we have to go today. Afterwards we sat down with Jen to re-ID all the frogs from Skutch. Most were still podiciferus or underwoodi but with a few frogs we have serious doubts. Scientists are also not certain yet if podiciferus should be one species or if it should be divided into 7! So we will send pictures of these frogs off to some experts who hopefully can tell us more. Today Frank returned from his forest walk with a milk snake. Juveniles, like this one, almost have the same colouration as a coral snake, but the milk snakes are not venomous. They use this colouration to confuse their predators and stay safe. When they reach adulthood the colours will disappear again and the snakes turn fully black. To keep the coral snakes and milk snakes apart you should look at the order of the colours. ‘Red next to yellow kills a fellow’ – coral snake, ‘red next to black is a friend of Jack’ – milk snake. However, of course they can all still bite, so keep watching them. We should hopefully have a picture of the snake online in a few days. In the evening we watched the Martian with the whole group, but only half of us made it till the end as everyone has an early start again tomorrow.
On Sunday Alex first took photos of the milk snake. Yesterday it was quite
stressed and did not want to stay still at all. This morning it was a lot
easier to photograph him, but he was always trying to find a way to escape.
Today the team also went back up to Skutch and on took the snake with them in a
pillow case to release it back to where it was found the day before.
Unfortunately Louise is not able to go up the mountain this time as she has
been a bit ill. A few days of rest should hopefully get her back fit enough to
hike up for the next two camping trips. And staying down at basecamp will give
time to work on the data and the report for this expedition.