quarta-feira, 13 de outubro de 2010

Ugly dogs @ Terra-Chã

Given the international aspect of the team currently present at the Azorean Biodiversity Group I will type this in english. This is a small post dedicated to the 2 ugly dogs that reside at the Terra-Chã "campus/WW II hospital", which is currently having its last days as a part of the University of the Azores since we are now moving to a new building, closer to Angra. The one thing about these dogs that really amazes me, and perhaps my colleague François Rigal, is that they are sooooo ugly!!! It really makes the day begin with a smile on the face once we see these dogs because we think "how can you be so ugly?" and these dogs should be quite a feat of nature! We will surely miss them when we leave in some days/weeks/months/years/centuries(?).
The short one s the dominant male, and according to Pedro Cardoso, his name is Javali ("wild boar"). :)
Forgive my mobile phone quality for these photos.
Well, I need to get back to sorting and packing arthropods for DNA analyzis. Reminder: need to ask Pardal for the frickin' photos for the remaining posts for the BALA II expeditions.

sexta-feira, 1 de outubro de 2010

São Jorge (II)

Some days after Faial (II), off I went with Pardal back to São Jorge, to collect the final samples for Bala II. Like in Faial, I finally had the time to do some sightseeing with Pardal, with geocaching as a direction to some spots.One of the most impressive places in São Jorge that I went to was the Lighthouse of Rosais, which is now inactive due to the last earthquake, that destroyed most of the building. A cache was located in the most Western tip of the island, just above a huge cliff! If there is one island that calls for landslides in the Azores, that is São Jorge.
A very nice stop was when we went to Fajã dos Vimes. In São Jorge you have several Fajãs, which I have described earlier as small pieces of flat land caused by a big landslide. In many fajãs, people don't live there all year round, but in São Jorge, you can find a decent amount of people living in these beautiful but dangerous pieces of land all year round. Here we logged a cache with a very nice wooden container.We didn't have the time to visit the most beautiful and known Fajã of the entire archipelago, Fajã do Santo Cristo, located in the Caldeira with the same name, as this place is only acessible by foot and we didn't have enough time to go to this nice place, that we could see from the plane. In the photo: I, logging a cache in the beginning of the trail that leads to the Caldeira do Santo Cristo.
The last stop was Morro de Velas, a volcanic tuft in the vicinities of Velas. One more hike, one more cache, one more view over the landscape, and we were finished. Here I caught an adult female of Arctosa perita, which wasn't reported to São Jorge yet.