We’ve been lucky as frogs here to have attracted the most amazing volunteers to come work with us in the field. They’ve all been a bit nuts, but that’s exactly what we’re looking for. Anna came with us on not just one but two expeditions, in the height of the wet season and over every major holiday no less. Here’s a photographic summary of our November and December expeditions with Anna, and a link to Anna’s blog. We work hard collecting data up there but there’s also a lot of down time in the tent and Anna created a truly fantastic essay about her experience at the edge of the ice.
Anna’s MUST READ essay:
Yoga time at 5200 meters. In the background you can see the valley we walked up to access our field site, and the great lake Sibinacocha.
Giovanni and Anna searching for tadpoles. We do timed searches of each pond and record the presence of any tadpoles or breeding activity (like egg masses, calling adults).
Tadpoles aggregate around the warm edges of the ponds. Here you can see like 1000 Pleurodema marmoratum tadpoles along the edge of Elephant Foot 2, one of our ephemeral study ponds in the middle of the recently deglaciated pass.
Here’s Anna’s tourist shot in front of the retreating ice wall and Lower Ice Cave Lake.
Anna collecting a filtered water sample from Upper Ice Cave Lake which we’ll later analyze and use to distinguish snow-fed from glacier-fed ponds. That’s the idea, anyway.
Anna and Giovanni searching for adults under rocks at the site where the world’s highest amphibian was found.
That’s me, impressed by our haul of tadpoles. More on these guys later…
Anna and her friend, Mr. Telmatobius.
At the end of each expedition we backback all of our stuff down to the edge of the lake, and sometimes there’s a trout waiting for us at the house of Juan Wawarunta. After two weeks of ramen noodes and hacking chuncks off the same piece of cheese fresh trout is pretty delicious.
At 5200 meters, possibly the world’s highest Thanksgiving.
Cutting up the trout while the rest of us are on the lookout for the dogs.
An overnight snowstorm made the typically easy 1 hour hike out to the truck a bit more difficult and grueling. Luckily Juan took out our big backpacks on his horses.