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Monthly Archive for September 2009

Installing the Darwin’s Frog Breeding Center, Day 10

A few final touches and...

A few final touches and...

some adjustments here and there and...

some adjustments here and there and...

the completed racks are ready for final positioning

the completed racks are ready for final positioning

VOILA!  Ladies and gentlemen, the Darwin's Frog Breeding Center is ready for business!!

VOILA! Ladies and gentlemen, the Darwin's Frog Breeding Center is ready for business!!

The Chileans did a great job with the building design.

The Chileans did a great job with the building design.

The moss, the coconut condos, the misters...all practically begging for frogs.

The moss, the coconut condos, the misters...all practically begging for frogs.

Bill, Marcela, Dante, and Andy enjoy the moment.

Bill, Marcela, Dante, and Andy enjoy the moment.

And the public likes it.  Hey!  We don't seem to need frogs!  This works!

And the public likes it. Hey! We don't seem to need frogs! This works!

Incomparable Chilean hospitality, like her incomparable wines, make for a wonderful send-off!

Incomparable Chilean hospitality, like her incomparable wines, make for a wonderful send-off!

Lots more on the way…like frogs, field work, and much more.

admin in Uncategorized on September 16 2009 » 4 comments

Installing the Darwin’s Frog Breeding Center, Day 9

After several days in the Chilean sun, the coconuts should be dry enough for cleaning.

After several days in the Chilean sun, the coconuts should be dry enough for cleaning.

Some, however, are more cooperative than others.

Some, however, are more cooperative than others.

At last!  A frog condominium!

At last! A frog condominium!

Talented zoo staff welded a stand for the mister pump and bucket.

Talented zoo staff welded a stand for the mister pump and bucket.

Jaime wonders whether Andy will paint the stand or the sidewalk.

Jaime wonders whether Andy will paint the stand or the sidewalk.

He painted a little of each, as it turned out.

He painted a little of each, as it turned out.

Finally the misting pump and barrel plus stand are ready.

Finally the misting pump and barrel plus stand are ready.

Seeing perfect sprays of mist in each terrarium put smiles on our faces.

Seeing perfect sprays of mist in each terrarium put smiles on our faces.

We collected collembola and got our cultures started in the insect room.

We collected collembola and got our cultures started in the insect room.

Happily, Chilean moss is the best in the world for frog terraria.

Happily, Chilean moss is the best in the world for frog terraria.

At last, things are coming together!

At last, things are coming together!

We got the feeling the peacock was interested in using our moss for a nest.

We got the feeling the peacock was interested in using our moss for a nest.

Now, to set up the foggers.

Now, to set up the foggers.

and they work perfectly!!

and they work perfectly!!

Time to tidy up and take some pics!

Time to tidy up and take some pics!

Bill Lamar and I are happy to see everything nearing final form.

Bill Lamar and I are happy to see everything nearing final form.

More soon…

admin in Uncategorized on September 16 2009 » 1 comment

Installing the Darwin’s Frog Breeding Center, Day 8

We prowled the wonderful market in Santiago in search of bean beetles to start some of the food cultures for the frogs.

We prowled the wonderful market in Santiago in search of bean beetles to start some of the food cultures for the frogs.

The kaleidoscope of colors and aromas whetted our appetites.

The kaleidoscope of colors and aromas whetted our appetites.

And the fresh produce was a sight to behold!

And the fresh produce was a sight to behold!

IMG_1660

Too bad frogs can't arrange their eggs nicely in pyramids like these!

Too bad frogs can't arrange their eggs nicely in pyramids like these!

The outstanding restaurants inside the market proved too delicious to resist so we took an unforgettable lunch break.

The outstanding restaurants inside the market proved too delicious to resist so we took an unforgettable lunch break.

Hmmm.  Wonder if these might be good for amphibian transport?

Hmmm. Wonder if these might be good for amphibian transport?

Our return to the zoo took us past the aviary with huge raptorial birds like this Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus).

Our return to the zoo took us past the aviary with huge raptorial birds like this Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus).

More on the way…

admin in Uncategorized on September 16 2009 » 0 comments

Installing the Darwin’s Frog Breeding Center, Day 7

After much looking around, we finally settled on PVC sections to serve a spacers for the false bottoms.

After much looking around, we finally settled on PVC sections to serve a spacers for the false bottoms.

Next came custom fitted "egg crating," in actuality diffusers for fluorescent lights.

Next came custom fitted "egg crating," in actuality diffusers for fluorescent lights.

We were excited to find an excellent plastic mesh in Santiago.  It proved to be far superior to what we had used in the US.  In fact, we brought samples home so we can hunt for it.

We were excited to find an excellent plastic mesh in Santiago. It proved to be far superior to what we had used in the US. In fact, we brought samples home so we can hunt for it.

Not only was it easy to cut, but also....

Not only was it easy to cut, but also....

it was stiff enough to lay flat.

it was stiff enough to lay flat.

We worked carefully to make an excellent fit so no stray frogs could find their way beneath the bottoms.

We worked carefully to make an excellent fit so no stray frogs could find their way beneath the bottoms.

For bird lovers, seeing the endemic Slender-billed Conure (Enicognathus leptorhynchus) was a treat.

For bird lovers, seeing the endemic Slender-billed Conure (Enicognathus leptorhynchus) was a treat.

As was the spectacular Burrowing Parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus).

As was the spectacular Burrowing Parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus).

More to come…

admin in Uncategorized on September 16 2009 » 0 comments

Installing the Darwin’s Frog Breeding Center, Day 6

Still more plumbing!  It's easy to see why plumbers make good money--this is a lot of work!

Still more plumbing! It's easy to see why plumbers make good money--this is a lot of work!

Miles and miles of pipe and tubing!

Miles and miles of pipe and tubing!

Try to remember: the drains go in the lowest part of the floor!

Try to remember: the drains go in the lowest part of the floor!

Getting late.  Time to stop and tidy up a bit.

Getting late. Time to stop and tidy up a bit.

Can't even see what we've done.

Can't even see what we've done.

The zoo staff pitched in and helped us haul out all the trash.

The zoo staff pitched in and helped us haul out all the trash.

Our neighbors to the North, a pair of Green-winged Macaws (Ara chloroptera), were fascinated by all the activity.

Our neighbors to the North, a pair of Green-winged Macaws (Ara chloroptera), were fascinated by all the activity.

Bernardo (middle), who will sculpt a ginat Darwin's Frog for the exhibit, comes to see what is happening.

Bernardo (middle), who will sculpt a ginat Darwin's Frog for the exhibit, comes to see what is happening.

Everyone, it seems, has an eye on the new facility!

Everyone, it seems, has an eye on the new facility!

More to come; please visit us again!

admin in Uncategorized on September 16 2009 » 1 comment

Installing the Darwin’s Frog Breeding Center, Day 5

Housing Authority...time to make shelters for the Rhinoderma, and to do this we use coconuts.  First we drill them to drain the milk.

Housing Authority...time to make shelters for the Rhinoderma, and to do this we use coconuts. First we drill them to drain the milk.

Andy makes the supreme sacrifice and helps get rid of the coconut milk...delicious!

Andy makes the supreme sacrifice and helps get rid of the coconut milk...delicious!

How to cut these things?  Nope, a table saw won't work.

How to cut these things? Nope, a table saw won't work.

That's better!

That's better!

Next, it's time to put in doors.

Next, it's time to put in doors.

Cut, drilled, and ready to dry in the sun so the coconut meat can be popped out easily, then on to the terrariums.

Cut, drilled, and ready to dry in the sun so the coconut meat can be popped out easily, then on to the terrariums.

All the cutting and drilling drew the attention of a lizard (Liolaemus tenuis) living by the woodshop.

All the cutting and drilling drew the attention of a lizard (Liolaemus tenuis) living by the woodshop.

The trek to the woodshop took us past some interesting zoo inhabitants like this Degu (Octodon degu).

The trek to the woodshop took us past some interesting zoo inhabitants like this Degu (Octodon degu).

And the noise even woke up a nocturnal Chinchilla.

And the noise even woke up a nocturnal Chinchilla.

Time to wire and install the fluorescent lights.

Time to wire and install the fluorescent lights.

This is when tight quarters require SMALL hands!

This is when tight quarters require SMALL hands!

Finally the lights are done!

Finally the lights are done!

Even the Blue-and-yellow Macaw likes the look of things.

Even the Blue-and-yellow Macaw likes the look of things.

If only we had more access to the internet......

If only we had more access to the internet......

More on the way….

admin in Uncategorized on September 05 2009 » 0 comments

Installing the Darwin’s Frog Breeding Center, Day 4

This is how we mix the matrix for the Collembola colonies.

This is how we mix the matrix for the Collembola colonies.

A little plaster of Paris, a little carbon, and a little water is all it takes.

A little plaster of Paris, a little carbon, and a little water is all it takes.

It's a little messy at first, but you get used to it.

It's a little messy at first, but you get used to it.

Poor Andy gets stuck with the dirty work.

Poor Andy gets stuck with the dirty work.

Well, maybe not ALL the dirty work.

Well, maybe not ALL the dirty work.

The scenery makes even this task easy.

The scenery makes even this task easy.

"Those are the craziest gringos we've ever had at the zoo."

"Those are the craziest gringos we've ever had at the zoo."

"Hmmm, I wonder if Collembola taste good?"

"Hmmm, I wonder if Collembola taste good?"

"Jaime is right, those ARE the craziest gringos we've ever had here."

"Jaime is right, those ARE the craziest gringos we've ever had here."

Now, to let them dry overnight.

Now, to let them dry overnight.

"You see, Jaime? They only LOOK crazy."

"You see, Jaime? They only LOOK crazy."

"And to our left we have the zoo's newest arrivals...crazy gringos."

"And to our left we have the zoo's newest arrivals...crazy gringos."

Please go home and let us get some sleep.

Please go home and let us get some sleep.

More to Come…

admin in Uncategorized on September 04 2009 » 0 comments

Installing the Darwin’s Frog Breeding Center, Day 3

…and we STILL cleaned glass.

…and we STILL cleaned glass.

How to get a strong handshake: we clipped the shelves to accommodate the terrarium drains.

How to get a strong handshake: we clipped the shelves to accommodate the terrarium drains.

This steel is HARD!  Let’s get this right the first time.

This steel is HARD! Let’s get this right the first time.

Time to ease the terrariums into their new homes.

Time to ease the terrariums into their new homes.

Where’s a plumber when we need him?  Time to install drain lines.

Where’s a plumber when we need him? Time to install drain lines.

No margin for error.  PVC pipe is a tight fit.

No margin for error. PVC pipe is a tight fit.

This is less fun on some shelves.

This is less fun on some shelves.

Why did placing the bottom shelf so near to the floor seem like such a good idea?

Why did placing the bottom shelf so near to the floor seem like such a good idea?

NOW it’s starting to look like a frog room.

NOW it’s starting to look like a frog room.

Yes Marcela, we’re really going to finish the job!

Yes Marcela, we’re really going to finish the job!

A new arrival at the zoo.  Andrés holds a “chuncho,” an Austral Pygmy-Owl, Glaucidium nanum.

A new arrival at the zoo. Andrés holds a “chuncho,” an Austral Pygmy-Owl, Glaucidium nanum.

A close-up look at the chuncho.

A close-up look at the chuncho.

Our neighbor to the east, a Peruvian Pelican, Pelecanus thagus.

Our neighbor to the east, a Peruvian Pelican, Pelecanus thagus.

This place has cool plants (Aloe arborescens).

This place has cool plants (Aloe arborescens).

Please Stay Tuned…More to Come.

admin in Uncategorized on September 04 2009 » 2 comments