Topics from the CREW
Rob buy’s sailboat:
Account of Frogs in
Mexico (June 2003)
It was another red-eyed
late night of reckless kilometer killing. Five of us mangy biologists
were again piled in the van and cruzing another wobbly Mexican highway
at night with only the lights of our flickering worn-out headlights.
We were in a new fascinating environment, the Dry Savannah Forests
along the Pacific Coast. A landscape composed of thorny shrubs and
trees surviving through the searing heat and constant aridness of
the day. But on this unusual night the annual rains came pouring
through the night. Joseph was negotiating the steering wheel through
the rain, Rob and Jonas were asleep on top of the piles of dirty
cloths and camera equipment, Daniel was sick with the Mexican stomach
problems and Hazen was reading a book under the light of his headlamp.
All of a sudden Joseph said, "Wow, check that out! Something’s
hopping across the road!" -- "Back up!" yelled Hazen.
"Oh a Frog!"
And Hazen jumps out as Joseph skids the brakes. Dirty
clothes, camera equipment, and Rob and Jonas fly forward through
the cab and Daniel gave a Montezuma stricken mown.
Hazen hopped back into
the van with his usual excited boy gleam and soaking from the rains
with a fidgeting frog in his hands. Now with all of us gripping
the dashboard and peering through the windshield we were on the
road once again only to smash on the brakes with the next frog crossing.
We soon discovered that the road up ahead of us was alive with hundreds
of frogs, and toads and snakes and even turtles all coming out to
use up the rare rains. For the next few hours it was a rather comical
ride of constantly panicked stopping and all of us running out on
the roads chasing after all that entered the lights of our headlights.
We were filled with contained and uncontained live frogs, and toads,
and snakes and all sorts of creature’s strewn about the inside
of the van for identification. One of the turtles that we had caught
and was roaming about freely through the van we had identified as
a musk turtle. This odiferous beast was quick to musk up the entire
van. As hastily as we caught our creatures we hastily returned them
to the wild back beside the road. It was there and then that from
out of the pitch-black darkness of the road were symphonies upon
symphonies of courting frogs. We went to go check it out. The sound
was piercing and yet another adventurous discovery upon adventurous
discovery had begun. A flooded pond filled with thousands upon thousands
of mating and courting frogs. This was truly an amphibian orgy of
unbelievable magnitude and an incredible once-in-a-lifetime natural
phenomenon to experience.
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