Camping in the cockpit karst of the Dominican Republic needs one thing...water. So much of the area is under-drained that you can walk a long way before finding surface water. But, when on a caving expedition, just find the nearest stream cave! We camped quite close to Cueva Llanada Grande, and there is a Los Haitises National Park outpost nearby as well, because of this clean running water. And it is only a few hours hike from the nearest road.
Notice that this passage would be a crawlway, or even end here, if not for the stream downcutting through all the sediment.
If you are unfamiliar with this rather odd activity, you can google extreme ironing and see some photos. Yesterday I took this photo of extreme ironing at the Natural Bridge in Butler Cave, Virginia. And yes, the shirt came out great.
Green and Black Poison Dart Frog (Dendobates auratus) from the Firestone Center, Costa Rica
Always a favorite frog to see when in Costa Rica. This small frog is a ground dweller and relatively poor hopper. But it doesn't need to get out of the way, as most things know not to try and make it a snack as it has poison glands that make it quite unfit for dinner.
A recently released paper on the most recent aerial drone research at the Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology is out. And Pitzer College has just released a nice communique on it, featuring the heroic Donald McFarlane for some juicy quotes like, “It’s important data for the Firestone Center and has potential use for much larger areas as well.”
You can read all about this here:
And, in an obvious omission, they forgot to mention the previous drone work at the FCRE, so, in the name of great science here is a video by Guy Van Rentergem showing some of the earlier work. Science is never complete without the whole picture, or video as is the case here. And if you haven't seen this video, you are in for a real treat!
These skinny, long snakes are quite common in and around the Firestone Center. They tend to be in a more bronze-color phase than the typical bright green found elsewhere. And while not dangerous, they are rear-fanged venomous so a bite might give a bit of an uncomfortable hour or two around the wound.
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist