Thursday, October 18, 2012

Illusions of Productivity, and some pretty flowers

Salama! Hi everyone. It has been a rather frustrating week so far. While we had a good run finding and collaring all the hapalemurs from Group 1, and a few from Group 2, we have had no luck finding the rest of Group 2, or ANY of Group 3!! We need to collar and collect each individual's morphometric measurements before we can start with any behavioral data collection, so it is really important that we find the hapalemur soon.

Part of the problem is a general lack of motivation/competence among the people that are supposed to be helping us. Usually we start out each morning with the intention of finding the hapalemur, darting at least one, and then we will try again in the afternoon; however, it is often too windy in the afternoon, which causes several problems, ranging from not being able to hear the animals' vocalizations (so we don't find them), to syringes blowing around in the wind, not hitting the correct target.

Exhibit A: this tree will soon be very sleepy.
Another problem is a confusion of priorities and time management. For example, on Monday morning our laboratory was filled with items that had been used over the weekend but not put away. The team told us that they could not help find the lemurs until they cleaned up the mess; fair enough. But when we showed up in the afternoon to start our search for the day-- the mess was still there! We waited an hour and a half while everyone scrambled to do the job they told us they were supposed to have done that morning. Could they have taken the morning off? We may not know what they were up to, but the common theme of the week has been an "illusion of productivity." Everyone is always very busy doing something, but nothing has been accomplished, including our own work. Every morning is the same.

So in all the time we have spent searching up and down and all around the forest, including a brief stint in which I got lost for about an hour (I swear I must have circumnavigated the entire forest that day!), we have not found any lemurs to collar.

Instead, I have found a few moments to focus my lens towards the beautiful blooming flowers, as well as some interesting insects and other critters. Here are some photos of the smaller creatures in the forest, in no particular order:

about as big as my palm

stick bug

what. on. earth?!?!

Periwinkle: used in treatment for childhood leukemia


  1. Sorry to hear about the problems. At least is not a bad place to kill time!

  2. Illusions of productivity? Sounds a regular office gig to me! Keep at it Katie! Don't let lab drones gt you down!