Bug party with some Thai students!
The Sakaerat Environmental Research Station does a great job of holding educational programs for students. Part of the usual activity lineup is a bug party in the woods where they put up white panels and shine lights on them to attract insects.
Here are just a few of the ones that I saw:
In addition to the insects, they grill some snacks like corn, sticky rice on a stick, and a crispy sweet pancake thing.
The second educational part was stargazing and looking for constellations, but unfortunately it was not clear enough tonight to see very many stars. I did get to see stars last night, and that was a really nice treat since for most of my life I’ve lived in places where there is too much light pollution to see anything at all. I think I’ll get up early to see the sunrise, so hopefully I can see some stars again at that time.
Light pollution is a problem in New York, and it is in Singapore too. It will be in any major city or town even. It reminds me of the NASA photograph that they put together of the world at night that showed all the major urban areas from the light that was visible from space. It makes me appreciate that I could come here to Sakaerat for even just this short visit. It has been 5 days but it feels like it has been so quick! That said, I haven’t totally escaped modern civilization because I’m able to sit at the station’s porch and use the internet.
Still I wish that I had an experience like this when I was a young student. It would have increased my awareness of nature and I would have felt more familiar with being outdoors. Maybe that would have changed what I’m interested in now and what kind of research I do, but I guess I’ll never know. It would be nice to come back here at some point, maybe when I’m doing my writing! In the meantime, I need to make more progress on my PhD research so that I can make it to the point of writing it up. Until then, I’ll try to continue to take every opportunity to go to natural areas or visit friends doing their research!