Entomology, chemical ecology, evidence-based environmentalism and science in general. I like big bugs and I cannot lie.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Did you miss me?

I've just got back from my second stint in The Gambia. No internet this time, and as Twitter decided not to cooperate with my Gambian mobile I actually had to do some work instead. Fortunately this paid off with excellent fly catches, a small colony of extremely confused Musca sorbens who snuggled down into their pupariae in Farafenni and woke up in Harpenden and possibly an entirely new species of entomopathogenic nematode. Unfortunately in the excitement of smuggling all of the above through customs I managed to leave my handbag on the plane, where it appears to have been swiftly appropriated by cleaners or my fellow passengers. I lost among other things Jeff's camera, my Oyster card, my housekeys and all the receipts I was going to use to claim back my field expenses. This means that all my plans for extravagent celebrations to mark my return have had to be scaled back to treating myself to some new housekeys and a tub of werewolf-strength leg wax, but it could be worse, I could be discovering the sound of one hand clapping.

Anyway until enough of my brain starts functioning to write something vaguely coherent* here are some photos I took in The Gambia and transferred to my laptop before losing the camera.

*July 2011

1 comment:

Imogen said...

Good morning dear geekster! (or even 'gekster' as I originally wrote...).
So sorry to see your leg, it does look as if you have suffered for your science. Would you believe, my 'word verification' word today is 'sting'!
Love the pics, v pleased to learn you have lots of flies, v sorry to hear about the lost/appropriated handbag...
Your mystery object is an old-fashioned kind of tin-opener. Use the prong at the end to make an initial hole, by stabbing the can firmly in a melodramatic, die-you-bastard-die manner. Then use one of the two blades, choosing which depending on the shape of the can, to open the lid using a brutal prise-hack-prise technique. Needless to say, DO NOT TOUCH EDGE OF LID!! I haven't seen one of these since I was a kid - my grandfather used one, right up until he went into a home, with Alzheimers. I guess he'd been using it for so long that it was almost automatic, at any rate he retained all his digits, even at the stage when he called everyone 'Queenie' and thought the fridge was a postbox... They probably wouldn't be allowed to be manufactured now - IT'S HEALTH AND SAFETY GONE MAD!