Is It Awkward If Nick and I post In The Same Day?

Well, coincidentally Nick also chose this day to post on the blog, so here goes making a post that isn’t so redundant! Wish me luck…

Wrapping up AIM

With our AIM sites wrapped up in early August and a healthy layer of dust coating the truck we’ve been using, it looked like Nick and I were settling in for the office life. Luckily, various people around the office had some small projects for us to do or help out on, and Nick and I typically jump on those opportunities faster than you can say “I’ve never seen Longmire”.

An ongoing project has been to help a former CBG intern-turned-grad-student on her experimental plot at Welch Ranch Recreation Area. Damen and Justin typically help us out with this as well, because it is incredible how all of the plots are basically weeds. Trying to pull out bindweed, get the roots, and leave the grasses that she actually planted in the plot intact has been quite the challenge. Luckily, an interesting discussion, banter, or moments of temporary insanity help pass the time while grappling with all the bindweed, Russian thistle, and various other weeds.

Other projects have included learning how to map NISIMS species, cheatgrass monitoring, and helping teach a local high school’s field trip. During the NISIMS trips, we have been pretty lucky to see some awesome moths and butterflies, as well as interesting mushrooms as a result of one of the first entirely rainy days here in the high plains. I also narrowly avoided stepping on not one, but two snakes that I could have sworn were funny-looking sticks. At least they weren’t rattlers!

Hera buckmoth found on a NISIMS excursion

Hera buckmoth found on a NISIMS excursion

Legendary BLM intern Justin showing Nick how NISIMS is done via Trimble

Legendary BLM intern, Justin, showing Nick how NISIMS is done via Trimble

Office work has been…office work. After all the data entry into DIMA had been entered, it was time to print and file it. Not the most exciting of tasks, but necessary none the less. I will say, the benefit of now being mostly in the office is that I can actually use a restroom when nature calls instead of scouting out an acceptable shrub to duck behind. Luckily, the current NISIMS project seems to be much bigger than anticipated, so Nick and I could be looking at more field time in the near future to break up the monotony of the cubicles.

Free-time Well Spent

Recently, I had the pleasure of showing my mom and sister around my little corner of Wyoming. After not seeing them for 5 months, it was awesome to grab them from the airport and do some things I have been meaning to do since arriving in Buffalo. While my mom was in town, we visited a neat little place called the Brinton Museum. This small museum features many Native American artifacts as well as local artwork and has a delicious cafe! We then had a slightly competitive game of Cosmic Bowling (read: glow bowling) at the local bowling alley that was something out of the Big Lebowski. After mom left, my sister and I had the chance to be outdoorsy. We hiked around the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area on an awesome trail, ending up at a very scenic lake. This was followed in the next couple of days by visiting a dinosaur museum & hot springs park in Thermopolis (dino museum was beyond awesome for such a small town!) and trekking out to Devil’s Tower in the Eastern part of the state. I was sad to see them leave, but grateful they could visit!

The Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis has one of two Archaeoptyrex fossils in the world on display!

The Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis has one of two Archaeoptyrex fossils in the world on display!

A bubbling hot spring in Hot Springs State Park

A bubbling hot spring in Hot Springs State Park

Admiring Devil's Tower

Admiring Devil’s Tower

Other brief highlights of the past couple of months:
-Hiking around and checking out some sweet waterfalls in the Bighorns
-Finding out about a free concert in Lander that featured Lake Street Dive
-Summiting a peak in the Wind River Range
-Relaxing by Lake DeSmet during the hot days of August
-Participating in a pick-up soccer league the town had for the duration of the summer
-Attending my first pow-wow

I believe that about covers things for now!

Forever Weeding,

Corinne Schroeder
BLM’s Buffalo Field Office

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