Deluge

The rainy season isn’t due for a few more months, but we were drenched yesterday by a late afternoon thunderstorm. Laying in a hammock at the lab, watching lightning flashes across the lake and the far shore erased by the clouds, I realized not only by how happy I was not to be in the field at that very moment, but also how lucky I am to be working here.

In the field today we saw some of the after-effects of the storm, which has broken a two-week dry spell. I found this group of insects huddled on the underside of a leaf that served as a makeshift shelter. It makes me curious to discover the usual night-time refuges of all the animals in the forest.

And fungi are also making their presence known. Since yesterday this log has been transformed by a surplus of fungal fruiting bodies – thin and delicate, glowing in the early morning light. It is a remarkably quick response to an influx of water.

Now afternoon has come, the clouds are gone – and we are back to the usual rainless and muggy air.

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