It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like

October 29, 2009 § 4 Comments

Halloween?

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This week in the Gila, it snowed.  Yes, snowed.  Not a lot.  Only about 2 inches at the most.  But still.  It’s only October, people!  It doesn’t even snow this early in Michigan, usually.  And I still had field work to do!  Snow is not exactly conducive to identifying forbs (aka flowering plants) and determining canopy cover percent.  Digging the hole wasn’t too bad, once we got down to the soil part.  But the main problem?  It was coooold.  Very very cold.  Not just in the morning, either, but all day long.  A couple times the sun would make an appearance for about 2 seconds, and just when we were starting to get excited, it went away again.  Boo sun!  And it was very windy also.

This morning we had to clip a site.  Clipping a site basically means going out to where you dug your hole and throwing a metal hoop around.  All the plants that fall within the hoop are cut with garden clippers and put in a carrying container (in our case a Wal-Mart plastic shopping bag).  The cut up plants are later weighed to calculate biomass content, or some such thing (I’m not really sure how this is done or what it involves, since I have never been a part of this process).  In order to get an accurate(?) assessment we have to do this ten times.  It is oodles of fun.  It’s even more fun when there’s snow on the ground.  Don’t believe me?  You should try it sometime.

While we were clipping, Nori said, “What a ridiculous way to end the field season.”

And with that, I am done with field work.

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Don't be sad, Gila. I'll be back next year.

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§ 4 Responses to It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like

  • Chloe says:

    SNOW! In October?! WOW! Oooh I want that! I want cold! I want snow! I’m fed up of warm sunny days! It’s too hot in Seville!

  • Pam says:

    When I was in undergrad I took an ecology class where for lab we went out to the prof’s land and basically surveyed it for him. It involved clipping and biomass content and all that. But we were in dense forest, so even when there was snow on the ground, we were covered by the trees.

  • samm says:

    Aah, I remember biomass calculations and cover percentage exercises in the rain when I was a student. Fun fun fun NOT.

  • I would give my left nut for some cold weather. I’d give the right one too. I don’t even like nuts.They just sit there.

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