By Rayna Higuchi ’20

We started off today with data analysis, compiling and graphing the data that we have generated with transects so far. Nothing particularly insightful has popped up yet, but we’ll be studying the numbers in further depth to see what conclusions we might draw from them. After a few hours of this, we went off to take another transect.

Image of the forest canopy [Photo by Sierra Rosenzweig ‘20]

You would think we’d be bored of wading through oceans of plants by now, wouldn’t you?

Lucky us, we’re not!

I do have to say, it was significantly less enjoyable than the other transects, due to the high numbers of mosquitoes. We must have looked like lunch to them because they were everywhere, hovering like pesky helicopters against us, the King Kongs. Sierra Rosenzweig (’20, Environment) received the brunt of their attack. She looked like she’d had an allergic reaction all over her forehead and hands. The good news is, the forest looked healthy, with many different plant species growing strong.

A red flower found while taking a transect. [Photo by Sierra Rosenzweig ‘20]

To make up for this experience, TA Caio took us on a quick trip to a local beach, which had the most amazing water. It was clean and clear and deep and warm. Swimming out past the break, the waves just rocked us gently, and we stretched out to float on the water’s surface. This water might have been magical, because after spending just a few minutes in it, Sierra’s bites were little more than a memory. Sadly, I can’t say the same for mine.

Dinner was a delicious vegetable curry over rice. After, I went for a night walk, and the house dog came with me. Some neighbors stopped us as they drove by, inquiring about “Sunny”. Apparently, this is their name for her—we were under the impression her name was Sasha or Sonja. It turns out she’s much friendlier than we suspected and likes following anyone who passes by her.

The moon was massive in the sky, as today is the day before a super moon. The road wasn’t busy, so most of our walk was spent illuminated by moonlight rather than the headlamps of cars. I’ve enjoyed spending time with my fellow TREX-ers, but I won’t deny that it can be hectic all living together. It was lovely to escape alone with a dog.

Tomorrow is the super blood moon! This is a full moon at its closest to the Earth coupled with a lunar eclipse, which colors the moon distinctly red. We’ve asked the TAs to take us to the beach to watch it. When the moon is in the shadow of the Earth, you can see so many more stars, much like during a new moon. It should be really fun to watch.