Friday, October 13, 2017


our deer family at the house
Posted by Kim
No bears.  No moose.  Instead, we saw two Bald Eagles, a Northern Harrier, a Rough Legged, countless un-ID-ed buteos, a handful of deer, assorted ducks, a fleet of snow geese, bevies upon bevies of Ruffed Grouse, one coyote, one coyote poop, one bear poop, one dead red squirrel, Wood Buffalo behind a fence, and conspiracies of Ravens.  It seemed a little slim on the wildlife this trip, but I suppose we shouldn’t complain  - we also didn’t have to leave a site because of wildlife, so that is good.

every step: deeper snow
We did, however, experienced our fingers go red and numb, our toes ache, and beautiful snow-covered landscapes.  For the second year in a row we have done fieldwork in the snow.  Now, I love snow; there is no denying that, but even I get a little nudgy when I have to read crank wires when there is snow.  First you have to find the crank wires – they are wires sticking up from the moss 4-8 cm and they were completely snow covered. Then you need to clear out the snow from them gently with your fingers in the 20 degree weather, put a ruler on them, and measure them at ground level.  We were lying down in the snow a lot and our hand-warmers got some good use.  It was cold, but it was also fun.  Challenges doing fieldwork are part of the gig and that’s part of what makes it so endearing.

the crew

We have a great crew this trip and everyone has been nothing but positive about pretty much everything.  And the things that get complained about are things like unnecessary use of hose clamps and such – not the cold, or the hours, or being squished in the truck.  I’m proud of us all –especially after we froze our bippies off yesterday.    We are all looking forward to heading home tomorrow, but we’ll also be a little sad to leave the snowy beautifulness here in Alberta.  Another year pulled from the calendar and we hope the next will be filled with even more field work.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Wood Buffalo

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