September 08, 2008

Bad Blogger: Finally, an Update from Florida

No, I have not been eaten by an alligator. I'm still in Florida; it has been a busy few days that have started quite early. We're up before dawn each day in an attempt to get our field work done before the sticky heat of the day begins. It hasn't worked every day, but it has for most of them. Generally speaking, we're on-site around 8:00 AM and done with collecting by about 11:00. Then it's a quick shower, lunch and off to the lab.

I've been more focused on collecting Tenebrionidae than fungi on this trip, and until yesterday hadn't been doing too well at that, either. I tried doing things a little differently during yesterday's outing to Torreya State Park, however, and it paid off. I recovered specimens from at least five species that I hadn't found before. I also had an encounter with a wild boar that could have turned out much worse than it did. So far, the greatest hazards of this trip have been the heat, mosquitoes, and Southern cooking — not necessarily in that order.

My traveling companion has been enjoying her first glimpses of the region's tremendous biodiversity, particularly the arachnids (and who wouldn't be impressed by Nephila clavipes and the numerous Micranthea species?) and carnivorous plants, although the alligator seen from a distance at Overstreet a couple of days ago was also appreciated by her. She's also been impressed by the local cuisine; I have never seen anyone eat so much bacon in my life. The loomingly phallic Tallahassee capital complex will no doubt haunt the dark corners of her mind forever, too.

Today is our last scheduled field day. We've left tomorrow as an open day so that we have the option to either do more collecting if necessary or to do housekeeping tasks such as shipping specimens home and laundry and whatever else pops up. Our flight back leaves on Wednesday. As much as I've enjoyed the trip, I'm about ready to get back to Worcester and to LL as well.

In the meanwhile, I'm not spending much time on the Internet. I'll get back to it as time permits... but time's not going to be too permissive for a couple more days. Nonetheless, all of my limbs are still intact.

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