Saturday, March 31, 2012


     Slow updates seem to be becoming a habit.  My life continues to center around collecting butterflies and feeding larvae, with occasional bonfires, barbecues, and movie-nights to break up the monotony. 
    I’ve also spent a lot of time this past week battling bureaucracy, as I apply for a Mission International driver’s license that will allow me to continue driving in Panama beyond the three month period allowed to US citizens with valid licenses.  I’ve been to the US Consulate (nice complex on the outside, well-guarded yet still depressing DMV on the inside) to get my driver’s license notarized, the Panamanian Department of Foreign Affairs division of Authentication and Identification to have my license further examined, and to a health clinic to get some blood tests performed (I’ve rediscovered my O-positive blood type, and a blood glucose test has confirmed that I’m not diabetic!). 
    Anyway, on to the interesting stuff (also, the next science break should be posted soon):
One of the roads I collect on, covered in purple flowers.

This Giant Red-winged Grasshopper (Tropidacris cristata) landed on our window screen...

...and eventually broke in to terrify me in the kitchen.  Fortunately, my roommate had a net, and he caught it. 

Right now many of the passion vines (Passiflora)  are flowering.  This is menispermifolia, the host plant of one of the butterfly species I study.

A small snake in the forest.

Riding in the resort gondolas up to a canopy tower on top of a hill near my house.

The resort's canopy tower, offering great views of Gamboa and the canal.

The Panama Canal, as seen from the tower.  The section of canal just south of Gamboa, seen here, is the Gaillard cut, which goes through the continental divide.

The Chagres river, which feeds the Canal and Lake Gatun.

Gamboa in the foreground, canal in the background.

The dredging ship's pipeline burst a (rather large) leak.

Neat little bug on the canopy tower.

Heliconius cydno, one of our study species.  Note how the underside of the wing has an indistinct brown pattern.

Heliconius sapho, cydno's mimic.  You can tell them apart because sapho has a very distinct red pattern on the underside of the wing.

I almost walked face-first into this rather large spider.

A walking stick insect hanging out on the side of my house.


  1. Love all the pictures!! What a beautiful place--can't wait to see it in person when we come in May. Not so sure about the "bugs" and snakes...Yikes! Love, Mom

  2. Lovely pictures! I really like the canopy pictures. I also didn't know you got to take gondolas... how neat! So good to talk to you today! Love, KT

  3. Enjoying the blog! Glad the bugs are with you. And the snakes. Just saying.....