With a little more time I would find one

So far, every month has been marked by great learning experiences and this one was no exception. Perhaps the funnest, but also most challenging of these experiences was fish seining. Fish seining consists of dragging a net across a river as a way to catch fish. You add a windy day and rocky terrain that is not visible through the water and you get a good workout with some very lovely bruises. I look forward to continue seining this week although I do hope it won’t be painfully cold and windy.

One of our tasks this past week was to survey areas in search of the elusive pygmy rabbits. Searching can get a little monotonous and tiring, specially when you search and search, and there are no signs of pygmy rabbits. This also makes it that much more exciting when you finally spot their distinctive pellets under the sagebrush and you enthusiastically start hunting for occupied burrows. Then you spot a rabbit running through the sagebrush and it all happens too quickly that you don’t get a chance to get a good look or you find yourself disappointed as you realize it was only a cottontail. I’ve been eager to spot one, but can’t say with certainty that I ever saw one and chances are I didn’t. I went out on one of these pigmy rabbits hunts by myself and I’ve got say it’s quite a different experience being out solo. I felt it was pleasantly therapeutic. Experiences are a lot more pronounced and the sense of peace when you are out by yourself is very rewarding.

I am quite sad I am coming into the last week of my internship. It feels like there is so much more to do and learn. It’s too bad it’s almost time to say goodbye.

Tour de Seeds: California edition

This past week my team and I set out on a week long seed collecting expedition in southeast of Yosemite. We started in the Bristlecone National Forest to find a population of Lipidospartum, that will be used in genetics research. While we were so close to the Bristlecones, we ventured up into the ancient forest on search of Methuselah, the almost 5,000 year old tree.



After the ancient trees, we headed up Tioga Pass to Yosemite and collected some riparian species in a beautiful yellow aspen patch. We then drove towards the tufa shores of Mono Lake on the search of some Chenopods and Artemisia.


Our third night we stayed in a rustic town with natural hot springs. In the evening we were lucky enough to relax under the starry sky in hot tubs fed by the mineral hot springs.