Monday, March 26, 2007


The weather today in Guelph was much warmer than previously, and we had a lovely big thunderstorm here a few hours ago. Vancouver doesn't get much lightning (though, yes, lots of rain), so this was a nice experience for me - I haven't seen a good thunder-and-lightning display for many years. According to the Weather Network, the temperature today peaked at around 22 Celsius, which hopefully contributed to the demise of the ice block of doom that I have been sliding over every day at my house.

Anyway, just before the storm I saw a large fly (Diptera) land on the outside of my window. Spring is officially here, with the appearance of flying insects. Which I need to learn to capture for genome-size measurements.

My advisor came by, to discuss other things (see this week's rant for some idea of our conversation), and we decided that given a short break in the weather (it stopped raining for around 20 minutes) we should have a quick explore of some of the greenspace on campus that I'll be stalking through for specimens.

So, now I'm soaking wet. Of course, it started raining, heavily, again once we were a good distance from any buildings, and the forest and boardwalk of the University of Guelph's Arboretum were pretty well flooded. We had a dip-net and a nice glass specimen jar (formerly of the peanut-butter-holding variety), but with today being the first really spring-type day, and a layer of ice frozen to the ground under the water, we didn't actually scoop up anything interesting. The locale we visited has a sign that describes some of the fun things to be found, including wide range of aquatic arthropods like fairy shrimp and cladocerans. Perhaps in a week or two the ice will have come off, and those critters can develop from their winter eggs for me to capture and grind onto glass slides and dip in Hydrochloric acid and dump the pink menace all over. Should be fun!

I've never had much chance to do fieldwork before, even 30 minute jaunts into the local woodlot, so I'm still looking forward to more of the same. I'll need to buy some boots, though.

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