So, for those of you who don't know, I'm a MSc. student researching bats.
The species I work on is migratory, and visits the north of Israel around summer. This means you have about 1 month per year of time to get your data.
* Example bat picture from Summer 2012 (Picture by D.Mendyzlewski)
Our first season, a year ago, was decent, considering we tried lots of new stuff and methods. This season was full of experiences, and since I started repeating myself so much when I tell about it to friends around the world, I decided to write some highlights here.
The first week was pretty much horrid. Lots of nights with prep work until 4am when you need to wake up at about 6am. I got annoyed by people and pressured, and it even reached a point where I just stormed off for an hour to catch some air. It was not easy, and I never wanted to quit the damn degree more in my life.
It slightly got better from there, until the last week which was more decent overall.
The bad news, is after all of this hard work, due to all kind of reasons, we barely got any new data at all :/
* This is not how you're suppose to use a University car by the way.
The following highlights happened in the last week or so:
At one point we rented a 4x4 truck to explore some tracks accessible otherwise. The car suspension though was really crappy, so the journey was never fun.
Eventually this happened:
* There are more pictures of this in my Twitter account @skiewolf
We were stuck badly for an hour until a bunch of field school girls met us and rescued us :)
We managed to push the truck together.
* Yes there were a few boys as well.
Overall we did manage to damage to bottom of our truck in our driving, but that didn't explain the fact the engine died one night at like 1am during work...
The car rental company (AVIS) was pretty shitty about the whole thing, and we ended up paying a lot more than we should have had, and on stuff no one told us about (like km limit pet day).
Afterward I got to sail for the first time... on a fisherman's boat. It was actually a lot of fun. Especially since my supervisor was the closest person to get sea sick (really, I usually call him Chuck Norris).
* This is not a fishing pole....
One of the worse events was the fact a huge truck almost drove us off the road.
It was a one lane each direction road. The truck decided to overtake some car in crazy speed, driving right in front of a car that was in front of us and eventually us.
The car in front of us, and us, immediately stirred away to the shoulder. We were both driving at about 70-80kmh, and the car in front of us was so shocked they stopped on the shoulder instead of keep driving. That meant that we were about to crash it since we skidded (shoulders are dirt basically). So we had to stir farther away into a ditch (that was luckily even there).
We managed to pull out of this with only a flat tire and the front wings of the car damaged.
Truck driver escaped.
On one of the last days I got to hike a nice river:
And I was really lucky to catch sight of two of these, managing to take some pictures even!
(They were spotted by a coworker)
Going for another week tomorrow.
Until next time!