Written by Dr. Kloepper

Well, here we are, the last night at Cave #2 in Texas Hill Country. Cave #1 was the Davis Blowout Cave, and Cave #2 was the Eckert James River Cave. So far, our time in Texas has been amazing.

Our first stop in Texas was the Davis Blowout Cave. Due to strange connections that only field biologists can muster, we ended up on the property of Bettie and Terry Green, who live exactly 1.2 miles from the cave. They graciously opened up their bunkhouse to us, and made us feel incredibly at home. We saw their smiling faces throughout each day, they fed us an amazing home cooked meal, they invited us over for watermelon on July 4, and they gave us a thorough tour of their gorgeous ranch. We entered their property as strangers, but left as dear friends. Their lovable dog also became dear friends with Kaipo. We had an amazing time (and got great data too!) and have this lovely “family” portrait as remembrance of our time there:

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On top of having top-notch accommodations, we also realized that Davis Cave is ideally situated for our research needs. We recorded both the nightly emergence and morning re-entry at the cave, recording with our ultrasonic microphones and FLIR Camera

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On our way out of the Davis Cave, we stopped at the legendary Cooper’s BBQ in Llano, TX and stuffed ourselves to the gills!

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We’ve now wrapped up our time at Eckert James River, but unfortunately don’t have too many pictures since we’ve been so busy staying cool and avoiding the fire ants! We have all been crunching data ’round the clock since we have two upcoming deadlines for abstract submissions for conferences. We are *this close* to finishing up the analysis for each of our projects. The girls have all gotten crash courses in statistics and SPSS and it’s been so fun to watch their knowledge grow with each passing day! From field work to data analysis to camp cooking to digging a “bathroom” hole with our shovel…these are the kinds of lessons you just can’t teach in a classroom!