A Day Trip to the Amazon


It was supposed to be sunny and hot.

Remember what the forecast was for today? As I sat in the cold drizzle with goosebumps looking at a gray sky, I wished for the warmth that was predicted for the day. We started off early again this morning with pollinator observations. Early on in this endeavor, we realized that pollinators did not enjoy the weather, and many of us observed more lightning bolts than bees. Late in the morning, a few brave bees made their way to Echinacea heads to scavenge for pollen. By lunchtime many of us were still marveling at the coolness of the day. I believe it was about the time it was announced that we would prepare to head to P1 that we were suddenly transported to the Amazon rain forest.

The dappled light from the sun shown through a steamy haze while heat shimmered off the soggy tree leaves. We left our outpost at the Hjelm house and began our journey through the jungle to our research site in P1. Our object was to finish searching for and measuring INB2 plants, a project that had begun yesterday. We trudged through the dense underbrush. The air was close, and a hush fell over the column as we reached a clearing. It was our research site. We split into smaller groups to measure plants more efficiently, and made our way through the dense mass of damp grasses. Throughout our research, the quiet was disturbed by the call of Roxy, a doglike mammal native to the area. As the day progressed, the heat became more oppressive. It was only made worse by the constant threat of mosquito bites and ticks. By 4:00 PM we had made extensive progress and finished measuring INB2 plants. We treked back through the forest to our base.

Anyway, after that adventure, Scott, Alyson, Lea and I again swam in Elk Lake, which was immensely refreshing after the hot day. Amy stayed back and made some great lasagna for dinner. Tomorrow is another early start. Stay tuned for Xtreme Phenology tomorrow.


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