Off into the Forest!

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Well, today we already started with a little recconnaissance trip into the forest, so lucky you: there will be less talk and more pics!

This here the CIRAD institute in Kourou - the library in creole style.   

And already we're in the forest. Silence. No human
sound nothing. Splendid!!!                                    

Left: Stephan Hättenschwiler and Andreas Bruder at the shore of a typical Guiana river - which is what we're looking for as we work in      
 streams. Doesn't look like holidays anymore, eh? And to the right one of my favourite motifs: the view up to the canopy...                        

Closeup of the stream. Well, it's  not optimal for our studies...                                                                                                              

Wherever you look, just forest! Very peacful here -  
well, appart from the fact that any minute you        
could step on a viper...                                          

Quite wet, not quite clean, but enjoying the forest immensely: an imported biologist! The trousers at the right were brand new and         
clean until two hours ago. But the tough cloth of the trousers are perfect for the forest, as are my army boots.                                        

We also get this species in Switzerland - but much  
smaller varieties without thorns...                         

A little frog tried to hide from us by imitating a leaf - tough luck as we're specialists for leaf litter, haha! And to the right we see            
termites eating the quite tough tropical wood...                                                                                                                                   

Amazing, eh? This spider reminded me of the Shadows of Khazad'Doom from the SF-series Babylon 5.   
No idea if it's venomous or not, but I'm also not inclined to pet it and find out! The stick instect to the
right we spotted only because it hid at a stupid place: on a big red sign on a plantation!                      

And here the most dangerous species in the forest: Swiss biologists!
Run! Ruuuuuuuuun!!!!!                                                                    

Ever wondered why rainforest is called rainforest?   
'Cos it rains, duh! But no worries: you're always       
sweating and wet anyway, so the rain helps against 
the heat and the smell, I might add...                     

Next on the program: preparing our samples. For tonight there was also an Ariane 5-rocket launch scheduled for Kourou, but it had to be postponed. Maybe the fuse got wet or something

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