Yesterday morning, Jonathon woke up early. As soon as he came out, it was clear to Bob and I that he wasn't well. After a few minutes, it became evident that he had an earache. It was a few hours until K-Mart opened and we could get some children's-tylenol. He was in a lot of pain and let everyone know it. Once we got him some tylenol, he promptly threw it all up. But at least some got into him and gave him some relief. Once we got back, he was ready to go swimming. Buzz is going to take him to the clinic today to make sure he doesn't need more aggressive treatment.
We've caught around 20 mongooses so far. The first day, there were more juvenile and females and on the second day, more large males. One of the males was around 850 grams -- one of the largest Buzz had ever seen. We tagged them all and collected observations and photographs. We caught so many the first day, we ran out of empty traps and had to bring some traps in without leaving a replacement in place.
The traps are getting old and worn out. Buzz and I worked to put a few broken traps into working order, or shift parts around to make a working trap from two broken ones. There was some excitement at one point when I saw a mongoose find a weak point at the back of one trap and push his way out into the car. Luckily, the driver's side door was open and he simply ran off into the bush. I wouldn't have enjoyed being in a car with a trapped mongoose. They're not very friendly.
I went shopping by myself. It's a bit scary to drive on the wrong side of the road and to go to the store all by myself. I spent just over $100 and got enough provisions to last us all several days. I'm planning to make a big pot of chili and we can also make burgers, hot dogs, and spagetti-stuff. I had gotten three boxes of macaroni the first time we went shopping, but Daniel hasn't eaten any. He's having too much fun trying new things.
Some big storms have rolled through today. Mostly to the north of us, but one good storm rolled through right here, creating puddles of water on the sidewalks that are still here this morning. Buzz said he didn't remember hearing thunder before, but we've had two storms with thunder during the afternoon. Lots of huge, towering clouds on the horizon spanned by veils of rain.
With the heavy rain, I thought it might be a good night to drive to the rainforest and try to hear coquis. Buzz calls them "genip frogs" because he says it sounds like they're saying "genip, genip". We drove up Criquee Dam Road north of Fredriksted and heard lots of genip frogs. They actually sound a lot like spring peepers. We could hear other animals -- maybe amphibians or maybe insects -- calling as well. One sounded something like a woodpecker striking a hollow tree three times "da-da-da!" We saw small frogs, but also some large Marine Toads hopping across the road. We brought back one to live in our shower for a day or two so I can take pictures. Large bats would flit in and out of the headlights. At one little pool that stretched across the road, we saw a bat flit down and touch the surface, like Noctilio, the Fisherman Bat might do. We couldn't see it well enough to make a definitive identification, but it was very exciting.
It was very important to Daniel that I make a picture of him holding an empty trap that says "i has invisible mongoose". I explained to him that most people won't be able to get the joke because they would never expect a trap like that to be used to catch mongooses, but he didn't mind. I hope he's happy with the picture. I did it in gimp, although when I discovered I couldn't make shadowed type, the gimp guys would tell me I should be using Inkscape for this kind of stuff.
Our nocturnal adventure seems to have made everyone else sleep in late this morning. I'm sitting out at the table with a cup of coffee enjoying the company of the anoles and grass quits. Soon, I expect I'll see the little blue herons and night herons come in to start looking for breakfast. Today is starting clear, with only a few puffy clouds on the horizon. Time to get started.