Thursday, October 13, 2011

End Game

Lindsey and I apologize about not having posted in so long. Our professor and a couple of his colleagues came for a one week visit to the cave so we devoted the majority of our time to them.

What a great week we had with Dr. Sherwin. We went to a press conference in Davao, had 3 DELICIOUS meals at Precious Garden Beach Resort, visited the Hagimit waterfalls on Samal, and went snorkeling twice.

In other news, for those of you who do not already know, Lindsey and I have come back to the United States! We arrived home yesterday at about 3:30 PM.

Our trip was cut short because CNU decided that the area was too unsafe for students to reside in - apparently the area we were living in has been issued a "travel warning" which is the same status given to places like Afghanistan. 

We are more than happy to be home to see our friends and family (and in my case, pets) and to eat all of the delicious foods we have missed, but our departure was abrupt and not in the least bit anticipated - we didn't even have time to say goodbye to Quincy Cow. 

I know I speak for both Lindsey and I when I say that we had a great time on our trip and we are going to miss the Philippines and the bats tremendously.

This shall be my last post. I will finish by adding a few amazing pictures from our week with Dr. Sherwin. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I have no idea what to title my posts anymore...

It is a well known fact that Lindsey and I go out on a "daily" basis to film the bats at the cave. However, what do we do to occupy ourselves while the cameras are rolling? Well, we CATCH (and release) ANIMALS!! Some of you, based on the content of our previous posts, might have already caught on to this fact.

Yesterday represented yet another successful day of animal round-ups. 

While we were sitting in the pavilion just minding our own business, a snake decided to drop down from the roof in order to pay us a visit. Naturally, we decided to run the snake down and capture it in order to force its participation in a photo shoot.

It was an intense animal showdown. The snake escaped once into the trees, but it made the unfortunate mistake of coming back for Round 2. The snake was fast and had great camouflage, but Lindsey and I had sticks and smarts on our side.

After much running, jumping, and sweating, we finally caught the little beasty. We have asked our friend Jared if he can help us determine what species it is...

In 3 months we have managed to snare bats, cats, dogs, a cow, snakes, skinks, grasshoppers, spiders, toads, sea stars, a chicken, and a sheep. I don't what is left out there for us to catch, but you can bet if it's out there we WILL find it! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Most Recent Captives

Since we've been here, Ambre and I have been taunted by animals which constantly elude our grasp. Try as we might we are neither fast enough, nor sneaky enough, to grab them. However, over the past two days, luck seems to have been on our side. Yesterday when Ambre was up at the cave I managed to catch a lamb. While I was very pleased with myself, I highly suspect that he was the weakling of the bunch and made my job easy.

Today was even better because we finally managed to trap one of the six baby chickens we are always chasing. After some serious strategizing, we managed to chase them into a bush. All of them got away except for the one that got itself stuck. Ambre had to pull him out and after taking his picture we tried to return him to his family. He called to them for a long time so we are hoping that they were all reunited. If they didn't manage to find each other, then we are very bad people and have earned ourselves another new pet. In this case, he will be named Colonel.

Another Herptastic Voyage

I have been pressured into writing this post even though I am supposed to be reading a very important book but anyway, here it goes. Recently we had another incredibly successful herping adventure. While Ambre was away doing absolutely no work on her mini-vacation at the pearl farm, I was lucky enough to spot this yellow-headed water monitor living under a tree near the cave. Now we see him almost everyday. He is one of the largest lizards in the Philippines and is related to the komodo dragon.

Upon Ambre's return we found a huge python at the cave's fourth opening. I tried to get her to hurry up so we could take a decent picture of it but my efforts were worthless, hence the awful photo of a single coil which you can barely see. Squint if you must. Additionally, we happened to find a common house snake and I enjoyed chasing him into a metal bowl so that we could take pictures of him. We also saw a small frog and a creepy bug thing which we have not bothered to identify.

Enjoy the following pictures.

Yellow-Headed Water Monitor

Reticulated Python

Common House Snake

Unidentified Frog

Weird Bug Thing

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hooray For Halfway Day!

When we first got here, Ambre and I made a countdown calendar so we would always know how many days we had left and on Tuesday of this week we reached an important milestone in our journey. We can now say that our trip is officially half over. As of today, we only have 72 days left! I have a feeling time will start going by much faster now. Everyone get excited!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Well, we figured that it was about time that we created a blog post featuring Norma Monfort, the lady who owns the Monfort Bat Cave and helped make our trip a reality. Norma has been a huge help to Lindsey and I during our stay in the Philippines, never hesitating to give us assistance or advice when needed. Now all of our followers will know who this wonderful lady is and what she looks like, too.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our New Best Friend

About a month and a half ago one of Norma's three cows had a calf in the middle of the night. Because we hadn't realized that the cow was pregnant, we were very surprised when we woke up the next morning. We named him Quincy and since then we have been doing our best to bond with him, despite his protective mother's wishes.

One of our favorite hobbies is trying to sneak past the older cows to pet Quincy. Lucky for us, they have ropes tied through their noses which keep them from getting too close. At first it was really difficult and we weren't able to do it without getting caught. However, now that Quincy is a little older, he and his mom don't seem to mind us as much.

Quincy enjoys having his neck scratched and is finally comfortable approaching us. If he feels that we are not paying enough attention to him, he proceeds to rub his face all over our legs. He is still a little bit temperamental but we are doing our best to work on that. Sometimes, when I turn my back, he tries to run up behind me. I think he learned this from his mom when he saw her chase me behind a coconut tree. We are not sure if he's being friendly but either way, he is getting a little too big for us to play with. Today he even felt the need to step on my feet but I still can't seem to get upset with him. For me, it was love at first sight. He may not always show it but something tells me that Quincy must feel the same way...