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Written (and sung) in the style of Warren Zevon’s Gorilla, You’re a Desperado: Chris Houser

Sap flow station

The howler monkeys at the Sap Flow site
Snatched the machete right out of my hands
Took my download cable too
Left me here to take his place

I wish that monkey a lot of success
I am sorry my dorm is a mess
Most of all I’m sorry the cargo didn’t get through
I’m betting that monkey will too

Mist net in action

They say the fog will find you wherever you go
But when it comes looking for you,
it’s not enough
In the mean time, keep your mist nets up
Monkey, you’re now dependent on the HOBO

He built gas flux chambers at the downburst site
He called it Villa Mosquito
Now I hear there’s no methane flux
But the constant beans and rice might be enough

Then the monkey grew very depressed
Went through many failed analyses
He launches a balloon except in the rain
Still he’s shackled to his original hypotheses

The howler monkeys at the sap flow site
Snatched the machete right out of my hands
Took my download cable too
Left me here to take his place



Previous Posts

The White Waterfall: Tomasz Falkowski

Written in the style of Herman Melville 6/29/11–Soltis Call me Tomasz. The morning was misty and grey, with the dark, pea-soup fog slowly rising up the mountain, covering everything in a cool blanket. I woke up slowly, unaccustomed to the cool temperature, and felt around for my glasses. The linoleum floor was smooth and cold [...]

Falling water: Tomasz Falkowski

Written in the style of Ernest Hemingway I woke up. The howler monkeys and toucans were calling in the distance. I walked down to the Center after getting dressed. The sun baked the sidewalk, and it felt rough and warm on my bare feet. The sap flow team trekked to their site. The red mud [...]

Working in the cloud forest: Kevin Davis

The sun was sparkling through light cloud cover and the animals were alive this morning. Keel-billed toucans chattered through a nearby Cecropia tree, rousing students from a deep sleep after a wonderful day spent flying across canopy zip lines and lounging in scorching hot springs. As a new morning began, Ana and Laura headed down [...]

A day in the life of students at Soltis: Tomasz Falkowski

6/17/11—Soltis Center—88F A late night meant no morning birding. Shortly after breakfast, the plant stand atmosphere interactions group took their solar panel array components up to the clearing bordering on secondary forest. The bugs were tenacious, ripping at any piece of exposed flesh with terrifying vigor. Everywhere we stood, we were followed by a cloud [...]

Birding, fog collection, and the cloud forest: Tomasz Falkowski

6/16/11—Soltis Center This morning, we woke up for our daily birding excursion. We spotted four noisy keel billed toucans. They flew from tree to tree, chattering as they went. Soon after, we noted two collared aracaris. They are smaller than the toucans. Their long, slender bills were fiery red, which contrasted with black-as-night plumage. We [...]

Research Work: Tomasz Falkowski

6/15/11–Soltis Center–83F Exhausted by the spectacle that we observed last night and due to the high levels of cloud cover this morning, we decided against birding, and elected instead to sleep in. When we got up we searched for the vine snake, but found no trace of it, as it likely slunk back into the [...]

The Naturalist’s Life: Tomasz Falkowski

6/14/11—Soltis Center—87F I was awakened around 4 am by a heavy rainstorm and the cries of howler monkeys. Their loud, bass, guttural roars echoed through the surrounding valley as they hailed the coming day, or perhaps they were just annoyed about getting drenched. The morning mist slowly poured over the ridgeline. Wispy puffs of smoky [...]

First day in the cloud forest

The forest awoke with a sudden release of rain. The Howler monkeys in the adjacent valley starting calling with excitement and the toucans began their morning migration out of the forest. This is how the first day started for the Costa Rica REU program at the Soltis Center for Research and Education. For the last [...]


This is the first year of a new international Research Experience for Undergraduate students funded by the National Science Foundation. Nine undergraduate students from around the country and two from Texas A&M University will be working with faculty in the Colleges of Geosciences, Civil Engineering and Agrilife in College Station and at Soltis Center for Research [...]