Friday 26 Aug 2016: Attack of the Mosquitoes

I wrote this after boarding a train in St. Cloud, MN late Friday evening. Little did I know the route I was on had no wifi, so this is a belated post about my last day in Kensington.

Today was the last day of my time with Team Echinacea 2016- a second amazing summer out in Douglas County, MN. While I’m sad to be ending my field work, I’m looking forward to my impending move to Evanston, IL where I’ll be starting graduate school at Northwestern’s Plant Biology and Conservation program. Regardless, I was looking forward to my last day in the field. In the morning, I immediately left the Hjelm house for Staffanson to assess the flowering phenology of the Liatris and Solidago plants in my transect. Meanwhile, the rest of the team went to Hegg Lake for a morning of demo and harvesting in p2. Almost as soon as I arrived at Staffanson I noticed the mosquitoes were swarming worse than I had ever experienced! Luckily, Hegg wasn’t as bad, and we were able to finish harvesting at p2 before lunch. After lunch, harvest continued in p1. With just a couple remaining hours in the afternoon we headed out to Staffanson to work some more on Total Demo. Sulu and Chekhov were feeling a bit finicky, taking a good while to make an adequate data connection. By the time we actually started working, the mosquitoes were swarming again and after Amy had 20 bites on just one of her arms, we decided to call it a day and admit we had been “mosquitoed” out of field work. After tidying up the Hjelm house, my last day of 2016 field work came to a close. Back at town hall, Amy made us what might be my new favorite cake, oatmeal cake with cream cheese frosting, and James made some delicious baked mac and cheese. We enjoyed a game of Catan, took an evening walk around Kensington, then drove to St. Cloud where I boarded my Midnight Train to Spokane and settled in for a 27 hour ride.



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