End of Field Season

Writing this from Kevin’s house; we came straight here from Cobb, after breaking down our camp this morning. Yes, the 2011 field season has officially ended. We had a good night last night. Our first turtle of the year returned last night and laid a second nest – the first time we’ve witness a double-clutch.

We had another turtle out of the water, but by the time 240 had finished, the other one still hadn’t started nesting. She was WAY the hell out in the far meadow, almost to Sandy’s house, and Nick decided that we wouldn’t worry about trying to find her nest. Instead, we went out at 7 this morning, and were able to find her, but not the nest (not a lot of effort was put into it, but it’s not like we actually needed more eggs this year). So, we processed the nest from last night, had breakfast at the Three Broomsticks, and then went back to Jellystone to break camp. We were out of there before 10, and made good time to San Ramon, arriving just after noon. Oh, there was one bit of excitement this morning. One of the workers at Jellystone asked if any of us knew about birds, so of course I said yes. Turns out they had an injured bird, and weren’t sure what to do. I told him to bring it over. I was a pileated woodpecker, maybe with a broken neck, but it was definitely still alive and kicking. So, arranged for Katie to take it to the Songbird Hospital; I hope he will survive! That would be a happy story.

I also have some homework for Jellystone. They asked us to put together some information on the plants and wildlife around the campgrounds, and I agreed to work on that. I’m sure I can get someone else to help, maybe Nicole. Although what we really need is a botanist. I can do birds and animals, but I don’t know much at all about the plants. In any case, It will be fun, I hope, and will make the staff at the park happy. They we’re good to us this season, so I don’t mind doing them this little favor. Plus Nick will appreciate the effort, too.

Mostly, I had a great time up there. Didn’t really feel sad to go this time, though. Not like when we left last week. Probably because we’d been up there a whole week this time, and also the turtle activity had slowed way down. It just wasn’t as exciting as it was last week. It was a fantastic field season, though. According to Nick, the best one ever. We certainly got loads and loads of great data.

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