I made it to Naxos and had a terrific day!
I made it on the ferry last night without any problems and met up with Johannes, the professor I’m shadowing for a few days in Greece. It was a long boat ride – 7 hours, and by this point I was really feeling the time lag. Still, we had some good conversations about lizards and my research ideas. Even better, we got great views of the islands as we passed and a nice sunset.
We made it to Naxos shortly after midnight and walked directly to the house. I last looked at my watch 35 hours and 50 minutes after my alarm had woken me up in Connecticut.
I slept well and got up at 8:00 to go out into the field with Johannes and the Michigan students working in Greece this year. We spent the morning out in the field looking at two plots, one heavily grazed by goats and the other relatively undisturbed for differences in the vegetation community. I did manage to see a few lizards dashing through the undergrowth but didn’t get my hands on any of them. For lunch, Johannes, a student and I left and went down the island to look for herps. Alas, with the hot sun and a strong breeze off the shore we didn’t catch any there either, though we did see two additional species while we were driving to and from the site. After lunch we returned to the house we’re staying at to recoup and plan for the next few days.
A bit more about Naxos: we’re staying on an incredibly beautiful island! It’s moderately hilly with a dense understory of thorny bushes, many of which are blooming right now! The main town of Naxos, where we are staying is beautifully white washed and picturesque, perched on a slope above the Mediterranean. The Michigan students I’m staying with are renting a very comfortable house high on the hill with a nice view of the bay:
In this photo you can see the view from our balcony. In the distance, the two columns, you can see are an ancient temple for Apollo. I walked down there after dinner and took some really nice pictures as the sun went down. Here’s one sunset picture, again from the balcony, but look forward to more pictures taken with the real camera.
I have to go to bed soon as we are heading on another big expedition tomorrow to a different suite of islands in search of different lizards. Should be exciting! I can’t promise Internet for an update but I will try my best!