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Sedgwick I Braindump

The 3 of us make for a really nice fieldwork Dream Team.

The drive down took about 5.5 hours, hitting periodic random traffic congestion, as one does in California. With an extra 1h delay at the car rental, load-up at the lab plus 3 houses, and a stop at REI for a GPS plus lunch, we didn't get on the road until 12:30 pm. Still not too bad.

I am SO GLAD I got to pack all the lab supplies. Last year was a nightmarish giant pile of stuff, whereas this year I know exactly where everything is / is supposed to be. Everything got packed very neatly into the 12-passenger van, with ample room to spare, and didn't feel like a hellish mad scramble. I have a certain hatred of stuff-piles stacked so high that things slide all over.

So far I think the cricket population density is on par with last summer. C and A got here a couple of days before we did, and in one evening were able to finish collecting what they needed, so they offered to help us. In an hour, the 5 of us collected ~80 crickets, heavily biased towards short-winged males and females. All of the 10 long-winged crickets we found had histolyzed (white) flight muscle. So we'll have to keep easter-egg hunting.

Today has involved a debriefing with one of the reserve managers, picking up some additional supplies in town, getting meals and groceries squared away for the next couple of days, setting up the full respirometry rig, and beginning to test out pitfall traps. Tonight we'll repeat our population survey (mark-recapture with last night's crickets) and will hopefully work towards gathering up crickets for some initial metabolic experiment test runs tomorrow.


Last year we had to stay in tent cabins because the ranchhouse was undergoing renovations and refurbishment. The cabins had healthy black widow populations (though no one was bitten), and we cooked in an outdoor kitchen adjacent to a classroom space where we worked. Showers and toilets were in a freestanding, rustic structure. It was pretty good for a fieldwork setup, all things considered.

This year, we're the first research group staying in the ranchhouse as the renovations wrap up. And OMG it is POSH. Apparently the UCSB donor who funded the project will be staying in the master bedroom on occasion. It has a panoramic view up the Reserve's central valley. It's fully air-conditioned. There were some interesting decisions during the renovation, such that certain bathroom fixtures are still adorably historic, and all of the new windows are still single-pane. Sad to see so much energy loss.

Still, there's countertop space in the kitchen that is PERFECT for the respirometry rig, and we're using the dining room for staging other projects and plotting and scheming about how to take over the world. The living room contains the most enormous television I have ever seen in my life.

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