Mangroves and sunburns

015Yesterday we went to the beach! It was the day we had all been looking forward to, mercifully timed in the middle of our 6 allotted days for fieldwork, data collection, analysis, and writing.  We ventured to Playa Bahía Junquillal, one of the most picturesque places on this planet probably.  The beach, with its gorgeous pure blue waters, is nestled in a bay surrounded by mountainous terrain and backed by an estuarine stream home to mangroves, many crabs, and apparently crocodiles (although we didn’t see any).  After a short walk through the mangroves in the morning, the swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and exploring began.  Lunch, in the spirit of Memorial Day, was a beach barbecue.

I’m sure everyone of us would agree that it was a day sent from heaven; the weather remained beautiful and rain-free, and the water was the perfect temperature. Except for one thing.  We’ve learned the hard way that Costa Rica is a tad bit closer to the equator than Minnesota… There’s some nasty sunburn around here today, we could have cooked breakfast on a few of our backs I think.  So, needless to say, today has been an aloe-heavy one.  Nonetheless, we have carried on and field work continued, at a more leisurely pace however.  Equipo plantas continued their plant function analyses and eqiupo suelos measured carbon fluxes at Santa Elena while Equipo luz braved the bugs of Palo Verde National Park to get light measurements for their last 6 plots. Overall it was a productive day of simultaneous data collection and nursing our skin back to health.  We’ll probably use more sunscreen next time. Lesson most definitely learned.

-Natalie Meyer

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