Molly Brown’s Diary
Climate Change, Canopies and Wildlife in the Ecuadorian Andes

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September 27, 2009: Waterfalls and Bromeliads

Insect2 Today I am helping with the Bromeliad study that Tasha has been leading. We are going to walk down to the waterfalls and check the pipe traps that have been left in the trees. The hope is that insects will treat the pipe traps like a Bromeliad and start to live in them. After breakfast, Agi, Edward, Tasha and I start off down to the two waterfalls. It is so steep on the way down but when we get to the waterfall, it is absolutely amazing. The first waterfall is the largest of the four waterfalls and looks like smooth black rock. It is a quick walk to the second waterfall, which is smaller but just as beautiful, where the pipe traps are located. The pipe traps are up in the trees on pulleys so we have to pull them down without spilling them and dump the contents into a clear jar to see what we find. We find an inch worm and some leaf matter in one pipe. We work on the second pipe trap and find nothing but we did leave data loggers in the pipes before we hoisted them back into the trees. After we are done with the pipe traps we head back up to the lodge. It was a 45 minute walk down and an hour and a half back to the top. After a nice lunch we move on to the second part of the Bromeliad study which is taking a plant apart leaf by leaf. Agi is afraid of spiders so I set about cutting the plant apart in the bag. The plant is filled with spiders, centipedes, a frog (big find), and tiny aphids. After I cut a leaf Agi and Ed clean it off with water and push all the dirt into a sieve. The material from the sieve will be sifted for any insects that were missed while I was cutting it apart. When that is almost done it is close to dinner time.

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