May update - assorted topics

We are having several consecutive days of relatively nice weather throughout the day so I have been quite busy working (and taking photos) but not posting them.  Here are a lot of photos from the last week of May.

Snow day (May 25th, 2015)

Before the weather got better, it got worse on the 25th when it snowed and we lost power overnight and in the morning after (so no heat and no internet). I couldn't do any work except walking around Gothic and taking pictures.

Gothic townsite


Wildlife wonder at Gunnison National Forest

No, this is not another post about poor weather conditions forcing me to update my blog.  In fact, the weather was so decent yesterday and most of today (until late afternoon) that many wildlife seemed to come out of their shelter and enjoy the good weather.

Yesterday, we went to Kebler Pass which was still under at least a couple feet of snow, so I helped out with the bee nest-box checking again.  While walking to the site, I accidentally spooked a grouse and it flew high up onto a tree.

Dusky Grouse (Dendragapus obscurus)
Dusky Grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) high up on a tree.


Life working under an unpredictable weather

I was able to put in one-and-half days (17th and 18th) worth of fieldwork before today's weather turned unpredictable again and forced me to work inside most of the day.

I discovered that there are (at least) two Gray Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) that hang out near my study site because I saw them there for two consecutive days.



May update #2 - From Colorado

Since my last post, the weather has been a roller coaster ride.  It can be snowing in the morning, the snow melting and sky clearing up by mid-day, but then back to snowing in the afternoon.

Anyways, while it is snowing really hard outside right now, I have entered the data I collected yesterday, sorted my photos taken the past few days, and then decided to write this post.

May 9th

My labmate was examining cocoons and saw these spirally frass inside a cocoon.  Based on the orange colour, we suspect it is one of the composite-specialist bees - either Osmia montana or O. coloradensis.


On the way to work (i.e., from Ottawa to Colorado) and gettng there too early

I was planning to blog much later into the field season than this, but poor weather conditions (with winter snowstorm warnings in effect) here in Gothic, Colorado have halted what I originally planned.

My research/driving partner and I left Ottawa on the morning of the 6th, and we rested overnight at Kalamazoo and Grand Island, just like last year.  I didn't take many photos until we entered Colorado.

Can't remember if this was taken in Nebraska or Colorado.  Landscape in the northeast corner of Colorado is similar to the bordering states.


May update

I am departing for Colorado tomorrow morning, so this will be the only post for the next couple of weeks until I arrive, get settled, start my field season, and maybe take a break to upload my photos and update this blog.

Until then, here are some of the photo I took the last few days.

On Friday (May 1st), I biked to school and saw this raccoon washing its paws in the ditch.  I stopped to take its photo, but it decided to wander back into the shrubs instead.



Spring fauna and flora at McCarthy Woods

I went to McCarthy Woods today to practice UV photography on the flowers.  I am still missing the 40.5 to 48 step-up adapter ring, so handholding the filter in front of the camera lens is not ideal.  Plus, there may be focus shift that I need to adjust once the adapter ring arrives.  While photographing the flowers, I saw many interested things that I photographed with my E-M1.

The first was this Pileated Woodpecker (Hylatomus pileatus) pecking a fallen tree.

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