The Reality Institute

“i bought a ticket, lost a ticket, had to buy another ticket then got off at the right stop on a multi stop bus without signs or anouncements saying where we were” by Lauren Valbracht™

The following is an e-mail from my friend Lauren who just went to Costa Rica which has a very rich coast. She’s studying grasshoppers I think:

but i’m here!
Attached are my bed (eventually with two more people i think) and view from porch tomorrow: look for a spider.

I was writing emails then Terry came in to talk about non-insect hexapods and I was distracted… then I went to the trails… which came out of my previous distraction.
I found someone who’s doing a bat project, so it seems she could use my help.
We saw a troop of howler monkeys and a poison dart frog and there’s a leaf cutter ant colony outside cabina 1 (my cabin) and there’s a huge spider with a web outside my door and i saw a moth fly into its web and it ate the moth.  it . was . awesome .

it rained most of the day and it stopped and we fed ants bait and followed them back to their colony entrances to track where they live.  this means: walk down a trail. stop get off trail into understory, vines, palms, mosses, buttressed trees, lianas.  and we had viles of bait (aka cheese or frostycream) and headlamps (cause it’s dark down there) and hunched down around in the rainforest and when i found an ant, i fed it the bait… after which it goes straight back to its colony entrance and you watch it until you see where it dissappeared into.   then mark it with a flag.  then do it again.  you lose a lot of them.  they’re small.  all the while watching out for snakes, bullet ants, etc………

day 1.


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