This is going to be a bit of a ramble about some of the little things that have been going on. For one thing, Arjun and I are back in action doing point counts and vegetation sampling, which we should be done with by Sunday. Sarah should be coming early to mid next week to help us close things out, and we should be wrapping up on July 31! Arjun and I have been working 6 days a week for a bit to help get caught up on time that we've lost due to weather etc... so I am starting to get a bit drained out. I shouldn't really complain, it's not like it's a tough job, but I think that not going to bed quite early enough and getting up at 5 AM every morning wears on you a bit.
Arjun and I found a mallard nest in the field today, she flushed while we were doing vegetation sampling. :P The nest smelled just like Julie (my pet duck), I miss her so much. There are 8 eggs. We have been keeping a close eye on all of the nests that we've found, which lately have been quite a few! The Eastern Kingbird chicks look like they'll fledge soon! Here's a pic of them from yesterday, these are the same ones that I put a pic up of last time, you can see how much they've grown!
Also, once while I was walking on the path, there were two little voles just sitting on the path!! They were so cute, and they didn't move even when I got super close! I even touched one before it moved, and even then it just slowly sauntered away. :P
One bad thing that happened is that Arjun lost his range finder, which neither of us can imagine where it went!! We had it for the last point we did veg sampling at a few days ago, which is really close to the parking lot, and then we walked directly back to the truck. I wouldn't make sense for him to have taken it off before we got to the truck, but it's not there, it's not in our apartments, it's not in our backpacks! I hope that it turns up while we're packing up, cause even though we can get on without it ok (as I have mine, it just means that we have to take turns doing point counts instead of doing them simultaneously) they are a bit pricy, even if they aren't the highest quality, and I don't want Sarah to have that loss. I don't blame Arjun at all, we've all had that happen to us before, and we can't give any explanation of where it went.
Another bit of news is that on Tuesday the 21st we did a little presentation on grassland birds and the project we're doing for the interpretive center. They have scheduled different little presentations every Tuesday for the next few months, and we were the opening act. ;P It went really well, we had a bigger turn out than we expected too, with about 9 people. :) We talked about what grassland birds are, their morphology and how that helps them in their environment, our target species, and about nests. Afterwards we went outside and showed them a Field Sparrow nest that had been abandoned earlier in the season that still has an egg in it. We also took them over to see the Red-Winged Black Bird that is very temperamental about people being around his nest (which is a bit strange as the rest of the RWBL males aren't that aggressive). He actually wasn't very upset this time around. :) Alternatively, here's a pic of him attacking Arjun. :P
I suppose there's not too much else to talk about at the moment, just that we only have one week left, which is really hard to believe!! It's been a good job and I am very glad and feel privileged that I was able to do it! I am, however, very ready and excited to be going home and seeing David again! :) Yay!! I am also excited for camping!! Yay!! I will be flying out of Omaha on Aug 4th, but will be leaving Pipestone (driving the University pick-up down and it will be picked up by grad students) on Aug 2nd. I am going to be staying with Zach and Amber Niebaum, some family friends of ours that I haven't seen in ages! It should be really nice to see them again. Well, that's all for now, I'm sure I'll probably write again at least once more before I leave, then there'll be a bit of a hiatus before I start my next internship Aug 25th. :)