The moment we've all been waiting for, or at least the moment I've been waiting for...I finally got to see a WILD Asian elephant! Julie and I were chatting on the porch when our ranger friend sped by on his motorbike shouting that there was an elephant on the road. The place he said it was was sort of far but we grabbed our cameras and jumped into the truck to go have a look. As we passed the viewpoint where the elephant was supposed to be we were beginning to lose hope and assume he'd gone back into the forest, but then a couple more curves down the winding road there he was! He was taking his sweet time in the middle of the road, munching on this and that. We took a bunch of pictures but eventually decided to pass him when he looked to be going back into the forest. We had to drive quite a ways to be able to turn around and head back. On the way back towards home we saw him again or another elephant, since the first looked to be going back in the forest, on the other side of the road. We snapped a few more shots and headed back slowly on the lookout for others. We didn't see any more elephants, but we did see a civet crossing the road and two porcupines! So it was an all around very successful night of animal watching!
The rest of the day was also very good. I was happy to be in the field again after three days off due to weather and the weekend. We followed the B group to try and redo the python experiment. We were about halfway through our scan when we heard the bark of a barking deer and Julie's face fell, seconds later I could see why. The gibbons immediately started up with a disturbed song sensing danger from the sound of the deer's alarm. So, we had to call it a day, once again. It was an interesting morning though, and I got to see just how pathetic Baak's (female of B) great call is. At one point it seemed that the male and female of B were in the middle of a fierce duel with the BD group to prove who could duet better. Unfortunately for both groups, they have equally pitiful sounding songs, and I had to hold my breath to keep from laughing a few times. A couple of times Baak screwed up her great calls so badly I didn't even know if I should record them. It was definitely a battle based more on quantity and rate of great calls produced than quality. Nonetheless, it was entertaining, and reminded me a little bit of a rap battle.
I experimented with potatoes in the rice cooker today. I think I will post about my various rice cooker adventures of this past week tomorrow. So for now, I will just reveal that whatever it is that I made today was delicious and very UN-Asian. I spent the afternoon working on Excel compiling some data for Julie, which was great because it kept me from being bored out of my wits. So today was a good day, in fact most days we go into the forest are good days. I haven't been posting on days we stay in, because there isn't much to mention. So you're probably getting an inaccurate level of cheerfulness coming from me. On the days that I am stuck here I feel bored and useless and lonely, so that is no picnic.