Today was not exactly what I had hoped. Unfortunately, I got some sort of illness with a 104 fever. It began in the early afternoon, so I spent the rest of the day resting and taking medications to bring the fever down. The best part was that the women here gave me a natural remedy – rubbing alcohol poured all over my head covered in large leaves and then wrapped in a cloth. Somehow it worked, and my temperature dropped back to normal. They also made me special delicious chicken soup!
I am very sad that I missed looking at more of the Mayan ruins, and I also missed two beetles mating, which was apparently quite exciting.
In the morning, however, I had a great time. We set up arthropod traps along the Monkey trail. At 10 different locations, we set up two containers in trees and 2 in the ground nearby. One of each was filled with water and soap (to break the surface tension) and the other was filled with urine and soap. This is to test whether arthropods living in trees would be more attracted to a nitrogen source (urine) than those on the ground because nitrogen is scarcer in the trees.
What was exciting was that I got to see all 3 different stages in the beetle’s life under one log along the trail! From larvae to pupa to adult beetle. The most impressive stage was the pupa, which was almost clear and constantly wiggled around. I believe the beetles were Pssalids, having a large thorax and being black in color.
After lunch, we got to go further into the incredible cave, which would have been more enjoyable if I had felt better, but regardless it was spectacular. The way the walls glistened with water drops was marvelous and climbing through the narrow spaces into back chambers was quite a treat. I really hope that we can borrow helmets and crawl all the way through to the opening high in the front of the cave. It was also awesome to hear from the archeologists working back in the cave, explaining what they were excavating.
Hopefully tomorrow will be less feverish!
Goodnight, Sleepy White Lotus