Thursday, June 17, 2010

Last Update from Mexico

We've got some good stories.. But it's really late and we're still not done getting ready. I'm giving my back a break from hunching over those tables and posting some pictures. You can imagine the stories that go with these - feel free to confirm them with us when we return!

We're coming back home tomorrow... It's kind of surreal for me right now.. They say it takes 28 days to establish a habit - I really hope I won't have a compulsive urge to climb mountains or store tiny fruits in baggies when we get back. (to be honest, i think i'll be just fine on that front)...

Anyway, customs went REALLY well.. We've been taking all of the ethanol out of the vials tonight, a job that has proven to be an extraordinarily tedious and sore-making job.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Location Update

Fig trackers report safe at 3:30 PM CDT.

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The nicest room we've had..

Our Santa Rosalia Casita - it was reasonably priced and otherwise awesome.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh, the places we've been!

Wow, I guess it's been a few days since we've updated! We have a few new stories, but things have been essentially go go go since last week. We've got five sites in the bag (providing we get ten more fruits processed, and I don't think that's going to be a problem), and we're racing to get a sixth. So without further ado, here are some of the situations we've gotten ourselves into!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back to the salt mines...

Hey guys! Well, we've worked out a new processing system in which Brad searches for foundresses and then I peel the seeds off of the fruit in addition to my other jobs. It's actually working MUCH faster!

Anyway, we're going back to site 172 today (second to North-est) to see if one of the trees we checked out is out of interphase and into male phase. We've given it a week or so, so it's looking good.

There are fewer wasps up here, for the most part. The definitely-male-phased fruits have had thicker skins from the more northern sites. That should be interesting if the trend continues in the fruits we gather today.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rocky Road!

Here are a couple videos to show you how amazing the road to 158 is!

Quick Update!

Hey guys! We're in Guerrero Negro again, processing. We went pretty far North for a few days, as indicated by Reed's lovely last update... We spent the night in the 4-runner, which proved to be much less comfortable than previously supposed. Here are some pictures, though!

The Terrain wasn't exactly easy to cross. Both driving and walking have been tricky!

Here's the best picture I could take of an ovipositor. They're teeny little things, yeah? When we started, I was afraid to open up the male-phased fruits (the fruits with all the buggies inside), but I've warmed up to it, and it's actually really neat now!

Here is a bit of site 158, the northernmost site we're planning on visiting.. It's really warm and bouldery.. not very full of life, but there were a lot of fig trees there! It was tough! Lots of climbing and REALLY warm... but there were some nice cows to keep us company.

The trees weren't terribly sparse, but there were a lot of small trees that weren't fruiting, a lot of trees that were in female phase (very much not ready for plucking) or interphase (almost but not quite ready for plucking)... Unfortunately, we only really found two trees that were in female phase, including this one. Those are what we're processing now.

Here's a picture of the site from afar, taken from where we spent the night. Yes, we hiked to the top of that massive thing. I know!

Oh! Hey, guys, by the way. You know how this thing to my right looks maybe kind of soft and friendly? Like an anemic cat, almost? YEAH, IT'S NOT. The dag nam thing puts prickly horrible things all over you! I got a few on my legs, Brad got one on his hand, and they're... They're just awful!

So leave them alone if you see them. Unless you have a very small explosive device.

It really is a beautiful place, but we were really looking forward to getting back to Guerrero, the land of running water and markets!

We're still having a great time. Finding good data is a very uplifting experience! Now we're taking a few days to process the fruits that we found, hoping that we can get at least 80 useable fruits (not all the fruits we have are in the perfect phase, and for whatever reason, the skins on the figs are REALLY thick.) and then we're off on another adventure! I think we're taking another stop at 172 (the more southern site on the north side of Baja) and then maybe getting another site, if we have time... That would make six useable sites, which would be the most ideal situation! We'll try to keep in touch.