The Great BRF Tree Project: Betsy Has Been Hauling Ass

Hello, dear readers!  This is a quick and dirty post from your favorite forest cryptid with a brief update on the status of my project (and this blog.)

In the past week, my modus operandi has been:

(The photo is a screenshot from the script of Thor: Ragnarok (2017).)

Because a good scientist is always precise in her definitions, here’s what I mean by hauling ass: pushing myself to physical and mental limits in order to locate and process leaf samples from a truly exhausting number of trees.

Last Monday, it hit me that I only really had two and a half more weeks at Black Rock (since I’m taking half of this week off to attend my sister’s high school graduation and other assorted family events.)  So, of course, I’ve become determined to blast through my field work goals and make every day count.  I’m a bushwhacking, branch carrying, leaf clipping machine.

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Sphagnum Pond, where I collected a few samples today

In the past week (except on Saturday), I have:

  • Collected an average of 11 samples per day (and in the past my goal was 6 per day!)
  • Hiked at least 2 miles per day
  • Stayed in the lab past 7 pm every day
  • Ventured into new parts of the forest
  • Found a species previously undocumented at Black Rock
  • Tore up my arms and legs with thorns and prickers

… and other tasks of similar magnitude.  As you might imagine, feats such as these leave a girl exhausted at the end of the day.  I can barely work up the energy to make myself dinner, let alone construct witty blog posts about my research.  This is why the blog has been a little slow recently.  I apologize for the lack of updates.

But I will persist!  I will prevail!  I will listen to more instrumental Gaelic Storm tracks!

I’m going to put up another research methods post tomorrow (this one about My Best Friend The Pole Saw), followed by a combined summary of last week and the first half of this week on Wednesday.  I may also put up a post on my organizational methods later in the week.  A more regular schedule will resume next week.

Thank you for bearing with me during this tiring, sweaty time.