Game Night!

Team Echinacea started the morning off with a brief meeting. Stuart reminded us of all of the neat things we’ve done since the field season commenced in mid June, and I must agree, we have done a lot! We have measured all of p8; we’re nearing the end of phenology; we’ve added and excluded hundreds of aphids; and we’ve just begun total demography. Not to forget the smaller individual projects we’ve undertaken, we took a moment to give a very short update on some of our projects’ progress.  Our morning meeting transitioned to a new topic as we stalled, so some of the dew in p8 could evaporate: Anna is competing for the title of Queen of Waterama this weekend, and we shared our support for her and enthusiasm for the event. I’m excited to spend Saturday in Minnewaska!

Soon enough, we embarked on our morning task: assessing fitness in p1. I worked with Tracie, and we had fun while crawling through the rows and spotting Echinacea. We switched between recording and measuring, so we never got tired of either task. Tracie was the real star though: Towards noon, she coordinated Anna and I measuring, and she didn’t lose her place once in the Visor! Speaking from experience, that was a feat.

Over lunch, we talked about Waterama a bit more, and our conversation somehow evolved to include hitchhiking. After a few fun anecdotes and many bouts of laughter, we decided on our afternoon objectives. On his way to set out pan traps, Alex dropped me off at Nice Island to count shriveling rates on one of my plants. As I walked from the approach to my plants, I waved to Anna and Wes as they drove to Steven’s Approach to do demography. Then 10 minutes later, Will and Tracie picked me up to do demography at Around Landfill.

Ready for PBORY!

As I set up the GPS, Will, Tracie, and I decided I am standing Queen PBORY, as I love to stake with the GPS and therefore use PBORY frequently. We staked about 35 plants before the GPS went to float, and it remained on float for a solid 30 minutes.  I walked as far away from the power lines and the electric fence to minimize interference, and that put me in the middle of the road. I was cautious of traffic flow as I waited for the GPS to return to fixed. After re-configuring the modem multiple times, we restarted the GPS and we were able to stake again–Crisis averted. Eventually, we finished the first portion of Around Landfill, and we picked up Wes and Gretel on our way back to the Hjelm House.

Will and Tracie love PBORY, even when the GPS is floating

We left a bit earlier than usual, so we could eat and get ready for our evening activity–Game night!

Will, Tracie, and Alex ready to start a fun game of Pandemic!

We started the evening off with some refreshing iced tea, and we selected the board games we wanted to play. I chose to play Pandemic with Alex, Tracie, and Will, and Wes, Gretel, Stuart, and Per started a game of Ticket to Ride.  Soon, Amy and other members of her research team joined us at game night, and they joined in on Ticket to Ride just as our game got started.

While we played, we shared fun conversations, and even through times of disease outbreak, we kept our cool, and played our cards right. At one point, however, it seemed like the game was over, and the diseases were going to win. After an ice cream and rice crispy break however, we were reinvigorated to defeat the diseases and win the game. As Alex airlifted Tracie across continents, Will quarantined diseases in the East, and I stopped cascading outbreaks in their tracks in the South, we slowly but surely saved the fictional world of Pandemic from doom and won the game.

Overall, and especially after saving the world, I would call today a success (and a lot of fun)!


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