Unreasonably hot weather can really suck the life and joy out of things.
对于大多数的e week, temperatures were in the upper 90s; as miserable as it gets. Nevertheless, the team of students worked in the scorching sun all day, and nearly every day. Claire, Mike and Jacob’s projects are all moving ahead full steam now. In what is likely one of the more revolting experiments we have devised over the years, Jacob gathered fresh cow poop (and we mean VERY fresh), froze it, thawed it, divided it into 1 kg packets, and put it out in the field under different conditions. The phrase “Oops, I got poop on the ______” (fill in the blank; it is probably true in some areas of the lab) was heard pretty frequently. But through using exclosures with different sized holes, we will for the first time ever get a clear picture on how insects contribute to dung degradation in the field. It will be a really cool dataset. Mike got the rest of his intercrop into the plots, after having some struggles with the planter last week. The corn is still at around stage V3, so things are still good for his objectives. By the end of the week, he was thinking that the peas and legumes he planted late last week in one of the replicates were poking their heads through to greet the heat. Claire’s project occupied a lot of time this week, as setting things up for her season long examination of soil insects on corn production. The hot sun baked the team as they pounded PVC cylinders to exclude insects from areas of the field, took soil cores to characterize soil qualities as well as insect communities, and sucked up all insects on the soil surface in quadrats using little mouth aspirators. As each milestone was met during this intense week, we were consistently reminded that we have an amazing team this summer.
蜜蜂。尽管我们尽了最大努力，和我们的支持者良好的意愿，它看起来并不像任何新的皇后，我们把我们的nucs注意到。事实上，许多弱蜂箱已经合并成一个强一些荨麻疹。一些正在王台，所以这可能最终会被我们必须走的路线。但是，在这里在六月的第一周只有15荨麻疹，只有一个或两个是生殖，沮丧。我曾希望，他们将被更快的建立。我不认为我这个夏天我独自一人在这个问题上与慢蜂巢建立。在突发事件中，我们已经从我们的邻居吉姆参观（我们只在达科他州农村行动会遇到前几天），他不知道我是否想要一个新的蜂群：他发现靠近他的牧场的群。不到一个小时，克莱尔和我适应了（套装不是必需的，但防患于未然），并驶过凝聚起新的殖民地。10000名工人做了周围蜂王一个群，并正在寻找一个新的家。这是荨麻疹复制的重要途径，并为新的蜂巢的位置进行搜索时，蜜蜂是非常温顺。 The swarm unfortunately fell off of their branch and into the grass, and Claire and I scooped up thousands of bees with our gloved hands and put them into a Rubbermaid tote. We drove them back, and put our new colony into a hive box, which they instantly took over. It is by far the strongest hive that we have on Blue Dasher right now. Looking forward to watching it grow.
On Thursday, the front vent started to make a thumping sound in Humphrey the truck. To solve the problem, I figured a bit more umph would solve the problem, so cranked up the fan speed. Now the whole dashboard was vibrating, so I turned it back down and turned the radio up. Chalk it up on the “to be fixed” list. The next day, Jenna and Gabby cut through the 95 degree heat with Humphrey, and quickly texted that a foul smell was coming from the truck. A stop by the repair shop revealed that a mouse had been eviscerated in the passenger side van, and now was getting nicely warmed up. The repair shop managed to get the vehicle in at 4:30 PM, and I took the opportunity to get it fixed before the hot weekend hit. With a bill for $120 in hand, and little consultation, we decided we should get some cats to act as mousers. Three kittens showed up by Saturday. Despite my attempts to explain these are expendable farm cats, intended to do a job, the kids have become attached. Toys, collars, and numerous hours of constant attention have been showered on the kittens. I have a feeling that hard lessons will ensue. Oh, lay wondering aside: the duckling have largely been replaced.
One of the highlights of the week was that Jenna and I attended the Dakota Rural Action meeting in for the Deuel County Chapter. It was terrific to spend a great night meeting some likeminded folks that are our neighbors (both figuratively and spatially). Folks from different ages and walks of life that are committed to sustainable rural development. Looking forward to spending more time with these guys in the future.