Thursday, October 25, 2007

R.I.P. Lucky

One week ago today, Lucky passed away in his sleep after entering a hibernation state from which we were unable to rouse him. My mother was delayed coming in to town and so never got to share a room with the little bugger. He is now buried beneath our potato pot in the garden. He lasted a record breaking three months. My office is much quieter now, albeit less smelly.

We'll miss you, Lucky.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sweden videos

Rush hour in Södermalm, Stockholm. Södermalm is the south island neighborhood of Stockholm which encompasses the trendy "SoFo" neighborhood.

Wolverine at Skansen Arctic animals exhibit. Skansen is like a living history museum, filled with old buildings relocated there from all over the country.

Vasamuseet, Djurgarden. Ship was buried for 333 years after extreme listing on its maiden voyage. Discovered in the 1950s and restored using ethylene glycol to replace the water in the wood. Light pieces of wood are restoration replacements. The entire museum was built around this ship, its contents, and its restoration.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Abisko continued

Where the magic took place. The workshop was four days long and had participants from Europe and North America. It was really great to hear about a wide variety of Arctic research.
Out for a stroll on top of a mountain with Rod, Jay, and Mary Anne.

More cairns.


Just got back from travel to Abisko, Sweden for a workshop on high latitude terrestrial- aquatic interactions. I'll try to post some of my favorite pictures in the next few days. I spent a few days in Stockholm afterwards and ended up taking well over 1,000 pictures.

Can't say that Sweden is my favorite "destination", but the workshop was well worth it and Abisko is absolutely stunning.

Abisko River

The largest mushroom I've ever seen.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Top Ten Travel Destinations (so far)

Inspired by a question on Yahoo! Answers, I've decided to list my top ten travel destinations. Given that my current wish list is far longer (Amazon River Basin, Antarctica, Athens, Australia, Bali, Budapest, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Iceland, Morocco, New Zealand, Prague, Rome, Scotland, Semester at Sea, St. Petersburg, Valencia, Venice, Vienna, and Yellowstone), I've decided to just stick with places I've been.

1. Zanzibar

2. Paris

3. Hawaii/ Maui/ Kauai'i

4. Lake Tahoe

5. Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

6. San Juan Islands/ Bellingham/ Glacier/ Victoria/ Seattle

7. Yosemite

8. Nara, Japan

9. Cinque Terra, Italy

10. York, England

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Never smile at a crocodile

I never saw anything like that when I was in Tanzania. Here's a few pics I took when I was there back in the summer of 2000:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The New Kids Rock

Secret Reagent Man


I'm so proud... *tear

Still Lucky

Sassy is still very much interested in the hamster. Here's a close-up of Lucky:
I think he's a Dwarf Campbell's Russian Hamster. Definitely a Russian Dwarf, and definitely male.

It's still very hot and humid here- it's makes getting work done very difficult.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Jen and I went to a friend's wedding last Saturday.
Yesterday, we "saved" a hamster.

Apparently, the best man gave the couple a hamster (and a popcorn maker) as a wedding present. They don't want a hamster and left for their honeymoon yesterday. The matron of honor (who lives in Pittsburgh) was saddled with dealing with the situation so Jen (her best friend) was called. We now have a dwarf hamster. We named it Lucky, because if we didn't take it it would have either been released into the woods or dropped outside of the Humane Society on a Sunday evening.

Sassy really likes the hamster. Obsessed, one might say.

When I was taking a shower this morning, I heard a loud crash. I thought it was my new roommate, Mark, moving stuff. When I got out of the bathroom, I discovered the door to my bedroom open, the hamster cage shattered on the floor, and Sassy laying on Jen's bed. Next to Sassy was a very soaking wet hamster with curled legs and closed eyes.

Not so lucky.

But wait! Jen detected a heartbeat, then we saw it breathing. Lucky is still alive. He regained consciousness and is starting to move around in a slightly more coordinated manor.

So, here's the question:

Did Sassy
a) swallow the hamster and regurgitate it on Jen's bed?
b) found the unconscious hamster after she knocked the cage off my dresser and gingerly carried it back to Jen's bed and proceeded to lick it back to life?
or c) dunk the hamster in her water bowl and sing it to sleep?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's official!

Sassafras passed her Canine Good Citizen test today! As a reward, she gets a whole month off of classes!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

2 a.m. on a saturday night...

I'm procrastinating walking the dog, anxiously awaiting word from Alaska, and Jen's at a bachelorette party. So, to distract me, here are some pics from last Saturday:
We had a slightly successful yard sale- here are Jen and Mark around mid-afternoon, right before I ditched them to head out to the crazy Ann Arbor Art Fair.
The Ann Arbor Art Fair isn't your typical art & wine. First of all, there's no wine. Secondly, it's actually FOUR art fairs, each separately juried. Mass craziness descends on town for four days. This was one of the more creative booths. Mostly just your typical leather, jewelry, photographs, and tie-dye.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Camping trip

This past weekend, Jen, Sassy, and I went to camping in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Sassy was not amused by the large racoon that tried to eat her food at the campground the first night. She took the first chance she had to tell us how she felt.
Friday was gorgeous- we went to the Munising side of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We were fairly limited in where we could take the dog, but we still had some spectacular views.
We stopped at Sand Point along the way and discovered Sassy's dislike for the water. We kind of got her to swim in knee-deep water, but it was more like a hop from one leg to the other.
On Saturday, we stuck around Taquamenon Falls where we camped because it was raining buckets in the morning. In early afternoon, we went on a couple short hikes to see the falls. Sassy was quite worried we were going to make her go in that water as well. She was actually more interested in all the people and made friends with a little boy who was glad "she's not one of those biting dogs".
After the Lower Falls, we took a break and went to the Whitefish Point Lighthouse and Shipwreck Museum. Michiganders are big on their shipwrecks. Funny thing, when you try to have a ton of commercial shipping boats go through a narrow channel east of Lake Superior, sometimes they run right into each other.
We went the Upper Falls on our way back from buying more firewood. On our walk back to the parking lot, we decided to take the "nature walk", i.e., the unpaved trail. When we were almost back, we heard two distinct woofs. Couldn't see it and Sassy was oblivious, but it was likely a black bear.
That night, it was hard to start a fire (damp newspaper and damp wood), so I had to take a picture of our hard-won log cabin fire.

We made one last stop in Mackinaw City.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Goodbye Wave.

I'm not entirely sure what to do with myself, having left Toolik so early in the summer. I suppose I should work on writing my dissertation or something...
Found this on Youtube- Climate change video

4th of July highlights:
Our lab was the traveling circus- complete with lion tamer, lion, painted lady, clown, bearded lady, trapeze walker, and prancing pony. We finally won best float! Annie had constructed the prize: a small replica of the Titanic and an iceberg.

In his most challenging role to date, my advisor dressed up as the mime of our circus.
Secret Reagent man: aka 0.007 uM

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Panorama on top of Slope Mtn.

I just finished my last day of field sampling, and look who's eagerly awaiting my return:


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

On top of Slope Mountain...Ashley and I hiked up Slope Mountain this past Sunday- it was one of the only (reasonable) hikes I hadn't gone on yet. On the way up, we got stuck in a huge field of willows up to our heads. The perfect place to live if I was a bear. Luckily, no incidents involving bears, although we did see a pair of Moose. I've never seen them north of Atigun pass that I can recall.
Up at the top, there was an amazing view of the Brooks range, where it turns to run mostly north-south. Ashley was standing on a ledge above a super steep drop when I took this picture. If you look closely, you can see a small glacier along with the haul road and the pipeline.
I'm not that brave and barely peer over the edge. We later climbed on top of those rocks for pictures with a self-timer.
And yes, I'm still doing work this trip. Lots of it. Which is why my updates have not been very frequent. The weather has been great but it's super buggy and the streams are low, the latter being not so great for transplanting bacteria in dialysis bags in streams.
But the fun never ends. Here Alex and Ashley are taping foam onto the handle of the D.I. water bottle. It's been cutting my hand for years whenever I moved it and we finally came up with a solution this year. Necessity is the mother of invention, even if it takes me a few years to figure it out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Today was my 29th day of sampling the I-series, a watershed of lakes and streams that feed into the main Toolik Lake inlet. It was gorgeous weather again today, although the helicopter battery died and so getting back to camp was interesting, logistically speaking. Here are Byron and Joanna leaving the helicopter at the first site of the day.

We saw lots of wildlife including this super hungry catapillar that mowed this leaf down in the few minutes I placed him there.

This is a lichen known as dead man's finger.

Alex tried to get a tiger moth to climb onto his finger.

This is a type of Rhododendron. We saw quite a few of them at the I-6 headwaters lake.

My two mentors tried to capture it as well.

Cotton grass, Eriophorum vaginatum, is "flowering" quite proliferately this year. All in all, not a bad day to end my I-series on. 29 days at the age of 29. The lake at sauna never felt so good.

Tomorrow I get to stay behind for the second day and prepare for a crazy, intense experiment I'll be running starting Friday. The fun never ends!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We drove the Husky up to Toolik on last Friday, June 15th. No major fires and very little road work. However, we did have to race a Princess bus to get a quiet spot at the Yukon River Crossing for lunch.

Yesterday (the 18th) was my second field day of the season. Alex and Ashley joined me in a jaunty little adventure surveying all the inlet streams into my study lake, Lake I-8. If all goes well, Ashley will be taking on part of the survey work as part of her REU project, for which I am mentoring her this summer.
It was a great afternoon- we couldn't have asked for better weather and the skeets weren't too bad.

Training all the newbies is going remarkably swift and well. It's going to be hard to leave so early this year, but it's easy when I remember all the fun adventures I have waiting for me back home. Including writing my dissertation, of course.

Monday, June 18, 2007

and After.

The day before I left for Toolik, my pup, Sassy got her summer haircut. I swear she's half the size she used to be.