Jul. 16th, 2017

rebeccmeister: (cricket)
After Friday's long hike (losing track of days of the week already, here...), it seemed prudent to make Saturday a low-key day. Besides, our conclusion from the hike was that we're stationed in the part of the reserve that is the most crickety, so we don't really need to go too far.

So after morning pitfall trap checks and miscellanea, it was time for another trip into town. On our first trip, L pointed out a sign for U-Pick berries right as we crossed highway 154 to take Edison Street into town. We had enough to do that time that we didn't have the capacity to stop. This time, however, we did.

And now I'm having some strongly conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I'm utterly ecstatic to get to eat fresh raspberries and apricots and blackberries, and to buy farm-direct vegetables. YAY! On the other hand, it's tremendously difficult to quell the urge to Pick All The Berries and Jam All The Things. This has bumped Sedgwick from, "Ehh, this field site is fine" to "OMG OMG I LOVE THIS PLACE." The woman running sales said that with the highway closures for the fire, traffic has been dead and she hasn't had customers, but it isn't a big deal because she has a lot of other things to do anyway.

I am trying to work on a horribly overdue manuscript review, but the exhaustion from fieldwork and dealing with logistics and lots of other human beings is making it very challenging to concentrate. In the evening, two students from a collaborating lab showed up, so there's been a lot of "Getting to know you" and such. Also a lot of intense mentoring of the current undergraduate and post-bac who used to work with me. Those are important, but draining. We're currently at 7 people. On Monday there will be a partial changing of the guard, and we'll be up to 10 people until that Thursday. The good news is that I think we're reaching a point where we'll have fairly quiet mornings and a mid-day break, which I desperately need.

We're starting to converge on a pitfall trap method. The first night, we netted a total of 1 male cricket across 5 traps. The second night, we got 5 crickets, all of which were in the 3 traps that held recorders that played back male cricket chirps and not the 2 empty traps. Last night B had the idea to take some of the males that we collected during surveys and put them out in the traps that don't have recorders in them. A team also went out and set up additional pitfall traps in another location, so we're gradually extending our reach.

Long-winged crickets with pink flight muscle are still incredibly scarce. I want to try and walk around right at dusk, but I won't get to do that tonight because I need to run the cricket oxidation procedure at 9 pm again. I'm still optimistic about working with our ongoing collection of last-instar crickets.

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rebeccmeister

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