Where’d the 5 months go?!

Howdy! (I’ve adopted saying howdy, I kind of really like it)

Anywho, greetings from Bishop, CA. My time here is over and I cannot believe how quickly its passed! The weeks have gone by in a blur. The goalsĀ I had at the start of my internship have been fulfilled and my hours of funding are all gone. Reflecting on my time out here I just can’t believe the experiences I’ve had. Getting caught in the loudest thunderstorms I’ve ever been under. The 3 am alarms to get up and go count sage grouse in the freezing cold. Stopping for snacks and Mono Market and ice cream at the Mono Cone. Chasing horny toads around in the Volcanic Tablelands. Almost getting the truck stuck, many times. Being miserably hot and sweaty in the beating sun. Falling into the slough at Fish Slough. Seeing absolutely stunning landscapes ranging from the driest deserts to dense pine forests all set in the foreground of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. I wouldn’t like to remember it any other way.

Working out here, in the middle of nowhere, has taught me many new skillsĀ but also about myself. I now know I can work about 40 hours a week alone and be in the field alone and get my work done and enjoy it too. I was hesitant about doing field work alone all day everyday, I was afraid of snakes or twisting my ankle and getting stranded in the middle of the desert. But as I got out more and more my confidence grew and I realized it’s really not as scary as it seemed. I also learned sooooo much about plants. I’m way better at keying out plants using the Jepson in part to the classes I was able to attend but also just from practicing it over and over (I’m especially good with the Chaenactis genus!). And of course there are the bonus skills I’ve acquired, the ones I really never thought I would learn- I can confidently drive the largest the largest truck you’ve ever seen, cut down trees, and fix a break in a barbed wire fence.

Starting this internship was exciting and nerve wracking. I was so stoked to get a cool position in a cool location even if it meant moving away from my home by the beautiful ocean and all my closest friends. I didn’t really know what to expect, I just knew I would be collecting seeds and learning about plants. So I guess my exceptions were met… but then I was able to participate in all these other amazing and unexpected things. I learned a bit about a lot of different things like wildlife, archaeology, and range.

I’ve had a great time out here and I know that because of how insanely fast time has flown.

I’m just going to photo dump, just thinking they’re worth a share!

Shipping off some seed collections!

So many Hymenoclea salsola v. salsola seeds!!!!

Cute little horny toad! (not actually toads)

Grouse poop looks like white cheeto puffs

Lupinus odoratus was going crazy this summer

It’s the arch you can see mount whitney through in the alabama hills

Working in a meadow to redirect water off the road!

So long Bishop!!!<3 And farewell to the Bureau of Land Management, it’s been very real.

Brittany Betz

BLM, Bishop, CA Field Office

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