Ibajay Journey: Second Day, Mangrove Exploration

Circa: JUNE 7, 2016

Second day

We went back to the park to check out our traps and the mangroves. This time, we came at 8:00 am. The sun was shining through the trees and the birds were chirping beautifully. We arrived at our trap site.

Did we catch any?

From afar we could see the trap was touched by something. The trap was deactivated, but by what? We walked down the muddy stairs and to the traps. One was under a bridge and the other was near the oldest tree. We got both the traps and checked them. We were able to peek through a small hole which was created for inserting the paddle. We saw a claw and an antenna. It was possible that it was just a crab, but I guess we’ll find out soon.

Frightened Creature

We slowly lifted the opening for the creature to get out. On the other end of the trap, we put a container to catch it. We didn’t know exactly how the attitude of this animal was. We prepared to catch it as a mix of excitement and curiosity took over. We surrounded our trap and waited patiently. Silence filled the air. You could probably hear a leaf fall from a mile away.

But, fortunately for us, slowly it came out. It meaning the mud – lobster. We closed the lid of the cylindrical container. The mud – lobster pushed the cover and was trying to claw its way up. Very intelligent animals, indeed. It stopped moving when I ventured toward the container it was in. I put a small stick in front of its face to see what it would do. It didn’t move but after a few seconds, it loudly tried to clamp it with both its claws.

Plot 2

After capturing the mud – lobsters we went back to our second plot. We measured the starting of the plot and went further inland. We noticed there were a lot of Nypas on one of the mounds. We studied how the other mounds were surrounded by other kinds of plants. We were trying to measure the other mounds on the other side but it was covered with Acanthuses and Nypa Fruticans. After measuring all the mounds visible, we went back to the old tree.

New Plot

Since we found some interesting things happening on this small piece of an island with the tree, we decided to make a plot there. The circumference of the whole island was 18 M 77. We wanted to look at the mud – lobster better so we decided to let it go for awhile. Scared it would run, we tied a small piece of string to its body creating a leash. It looked pretty funny, leashing a lobster. After realizing they are actually very, very slow we just unleashed them. We barricaded their surroundings with small logs and pieces of stick we found lying around, even an old boot. The biggest mud – lobster kept escaping and trying to get into one of the holes. They both stopped moving so we put them back into their containers.

Traps

We decided the best idea was to set up the traps in the same mound to check if more than one lobster lived in it. After setting up the traps, and nearly catching some mudskippers, we rested on top of one of the open bridges. This bridge wasn’t completely finished so the sides had no railings yet. We spotted a medium-sized jellyfish that got itself tangled up in the vines. It was beautiful and after few minutes untangled. The cool breeze was passing as I stared through the binoculars. I could barely make out the sweet songs of the birds anymore. The sun started to fall and the night was filled with partying crickets.

Night Sky

It’s been two hours since we left the trap and made a decision to check them out. We steadily made out our way with some flashlights. The ants started to appear everywhere, we could barely touch the railings for support. There was this one time when we found five ants all tearing up one ant. It was crazy. We did our nocturnal prospection for maybe 45 minutes. We went back and forth quietly trying to spot some mud – lobsters burrowing away. On our way out we closed all our lights and stared into the sky. All the stars were out, and the moon was like a shimmering diamond. We told each other stories and left back to go home.

THUNDER!!

We’ve finished freshening up and we were just laying around studying. We could see the flashes of lightning through our window. There was no after sound with the lightning in a long time. The silence in the air was occupied by the sound of the aircon. All of a sudden a loud boom came screaming through my ears. I jumped, accidentally pulling off my earphones with it. We all looked at each other, surprised. The ground shook for me, it felt so close by. It was past 9:00 pm so we decided to sleep already.

~ Juvenile L.O.A.S.H

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