Some photos of my weekend! (Y U TURN MY PHOTOS, TUMBLR?)

Matt had a 24-hour long event that happened Friday to Saturday called the Bio Blitz. Hundreds of volunteers from the area came out to local parks to volunteer on specialized teams with the purpose of doing a local species census. We wanted to know all the different species of living things in the area! We had a plants team, an amphibians team, reptiles, insects, mammals, birds, fish, benthic aquatic macroinvertebrates, etc! It was such a cool event. Hundreds of scientistis in one place? Yes please.

I was on the macroinvertebrates team because I’m a pro at macro identification. Above, you’ll see a bunch of my friends in a stream in their waders sampling for the macroinvertebrates, and then a bunch of the critters that we found. We also found a huuuuge wolf spider, which I obviously took a million photos of.

The whole event was super fun. Highlights:

Stream play- dozens of kids and their parents came out to the stream side with us and we all sampled for macroinvertebrates together. The kids LOVED it. They were so excited when they found bugs in their nets, and so proud when they remembered what they were each called. It was really cool.

On Friday night, some astronomers brought their beautiful telescopes to a hilltop and showed us lots of celestial bodies. We saw Saturn with incredible detail!!! You could see the rings AND the moons! We also saw the cratered surface of the moon up close and personal. The men out their with their ‘scopes were SO cool and SO willing to chat with you about everything. I learned a bunch about the night sky & constellations.

Helping to keep people organized. Everyone (Matt & his supervisor especially) was so stressed trying to make sure every detail was accounted for, so it made me happy to take a few things off of their shoulders. I felt like a leader as I took control of the raffles, the tent table organization, and clean-up after the event was over.

Camping! There were supposed to be a ton of people camping out with us, but when Matt and I got there to set up our tent at 11 pm, no one was there. We found out later that some things came up and they had to go home. Whateeevs. Our friends Tom and Ana came out with a tent to keep us company, and they brought a little bottle of wine with them, so that was very pleasant. Matt bought a tent that does not need to be constructed (huh?!)— all we had to do was extend the poles that were already in the tent- it was so easy! The tent was SO BIG too! I had to pee several times during the night, and I laughed to myself with satisfaction knowing that this was not generally the type of place where people pee in the bushes. I’d like to think of myself as a peeing pioneer.

Since we had been outside all day, before we set up camp, we really wanted to wash up a little bit because we felt gross. Since it was after 10 pm, not many places were open, so we sat in the car trying to think as if we were homeless. We found a 24 hour Dunkin Donuts and used their bathroom! Matt actually took a bath in the sink with the hand soap. I just brushed my teeth and washed my face with my own stuff.

Making a new friend, Millie. Millie was a volunteer from “the public” who was interested in macroinvertebrate science, so she came out with us. She didn’t have waders, so she borrowed a pair of hip waders from the county. She was having a lot of trouble walking in them because they were too big and awkward, so I hung back and traded waders with her figuring mine would be a lot more comfortable for her. I was happy that she felt a lot more comfortable and ready to get into the stream. The hip waders were just SILLY. I had to fold them down and hold them as I walked so that they would stay on and I wouldn’t fall over, haha.

We also made friends with Chris, the 11-year-old son of one of the astronomer guys, Mark. We knew Mark already from several workshops he presented to us through out the year, but this was our first time meeting his family. Chris was the spitting image of Mark, and equally as nerdy in the best ways. I was happy that he thought we were cool enough to hang out with all day Saturday. He also told us our workshop was the second best (only second best because he HAS to say his dad’s is the best :P).

Eating food. No further details required. Just food.

Hanging out with my AmeriCorps pals.

Finishing up on Saturday and then going for a swim in our friend’s pool!!!

What a weekend :D