Review of summer research

I enjoyed conducting research over the summer, mainly because of all of the novel experiences I encountered with my lab partner. I’ll note some of the events I thought were memorable.

1. Sometimes while collecting stilt grass or tick data, we would encounter snakes, and Molly would scream every time we saw one (to the point where it frightened me). Once, we were walking back towards our bikes after finishing a point, Molly screamed and froze at the same time (great reaction if the snake decides to come your way), which caused me to wield the tick flag like a baseball bat, although the snake just wandered off in the opposite direction.

2. While at a tick point, a large branch fell from one of the surrounding trees about 10 yards away and hit the ground. Molly and I literally just stared at each other with a surprised look thinking that’s too close for comfort.

3. Early in the field season, we were collecting data in the college woods and it was very muddy. Molly took a step in the mud and the sole of her boot came off.

4. At Fort Eustis, it had rained so much that after collecting data at our selected point, we couldn’t find a clear non-flooded path back to the main road. I was so annoyed that I tried to walk my bike across one of the flooded zones, but slipped down a mud bank into knee-to-waste deep water. Needless to say I was upset at the time, but it did cool me off as it was hot outside.

5. Getting lost while trying to find our way to a tick/stilt grass point.

6. Although there were many other experiences, I’ll leave you with one of my favorites. We were walking in a residential area because our data collection point was located in the woods behind the houses. The neighborhood looked a little worn down and we were trying to decide which house to walk behind to get the the woods. Molly makes a decision and starts to walk towards a random house and I had to stop her as a giant pit bull, which wasn’t attached to a chain, was sitting on the porch of the house watching us. The consensus was I’ll be the one deciding which house to maneuver behind.