While last week was filled with meetings, getting acquainted with the Bahamian lifestyle, and soaking up sun and culture in equal parts, this week was filled with torrential downpours, affording us the time to work on our field guide. Monday morning the weather forecast listed a minimum of 50% chance of thunderstorms every day of the week. With this bleak information, we holed up in our Bahamian home away from home to diligently work on our field guide. That is, if you can call it work. With the doors and windows open the time passed surprisingly quickly. The pitter-patter of the rain outside mixed with the thunder and lull of music in the background, our field guide species list rapidly multiplied. I’m sure you are all wondering exactly what this field guide entails. Well, I won’t make you wait any longer.
The field guide lists the species, that after much research and discussion with locals, we found to be most prevalent and important on the island. The species include plants, sea grasses, birds, mammals, a few insects, and TONS of fish. Most of the guide is dedicated to sea life, because, let’s face it, Eleuthera is after all an island. For each species a short description, including size and notable features, a picture, and the habitat is listed. We found that there are roughly six habitats in Eleuthera: coast, coral reef/open ocean, mangrove flats, pine forest, and sea grass beds.
After entering zombie mode from staring at our computers for hours on end, we all agreed that we needed some time away from research. For breaks we entertained our selves by traipsing through the puddles when the rain decided to quiet down some. When it started pouring again, we retreated to our house and watched a few TV shows, or spent our time reading numerous books. I must say that we may have been the most well-read people in history during that week. Between reading and researching for our field guides and reading for entertainment, we could have filled the room with all the pages we breezed through. One of the most enjoyable research breaks was after a random inspiration from Holly to make palm-frond hats. We ran outside and searched for the perfect palm-type leaves to begin our weaving endeavor. With the help of YouTube, we explored or island creativity and began the feat of weaving. After many failed attempts, we decided that hats are an unattainable goal. So we settled on making fish, baskets, and roses. And if I might brag, I’d have to say that we are almost masters at rose making J.
As our field guide progressed throughout the week, the rain seemed to die down. Yet, during one last persistent downpour, we got brave and ventured out into the hurricane worthy storm. After only a few minutes we were soaked to the bone, but it could not have been more fun. With our kid spirit, we puddle jumped and ran through the rain like the best of the five-year olds. To end the afternoon we climbed over some rocks and jumped in the ocean and swam around with the surprised fish. After the sun peeked through the clouds and our teeth started chattering, we started our trek back home to dry off. Who knew such a rainy week could have turned into something so enjoyable and educational!