For all of you faithful bloggers out there, this is David, returning to Kenya for my long field season to conduct my graduate research (I’ll be here for ~2 years). My dissertation focuses on ways that we can use the spotted hyena to assist in the conservation of wildlife out here in east Africa.
Although I wished my first blog entry (of this field season) would be triumphant, a sort of, “I’m back, and look at all of this data I’ve already collected in just a few weeks time,” this has not been the case. Unfortunately, I seemed to have timed my return to Kenya with the return of the intertropical convergence zone, filling me with the blues.
The rainy season blues.
The intertropical convergence zone creates the weather patterns of dry and wet seasons here in Kenya. The northeast and southeast trade winds converge twice each year over Kenya, once in March-April, and then once again in November-December. This low atmospheric pressure combined with the heating around the equator creates literally tons of precipitation.
What this means for us here in camp is a lot of rain. And by “a lot,” I mean up to 50 millimeters in the course of a few hours.
This changes much of our day-to-day work here in fisi camp. Driving around recording hyena behavior is often replaced with ensuring camp doesn’t flood, and in the event that it does, putting things into dry bags and elevating expensive electronics.
Here’s to hoping we get some sunny days soon to dry off and get out of camp!