2010, I hardly knew you

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I last updated.  Thank you, WordPress, for hanging onto the blog while it languished.

Vox Hortus has its own domain now, so you can find it at www.voxhortus.com or at the WordPress address.

So much has happened in a year.  I’ve finished my third field season for my research project, I’m writing my thesis and looking for a job.  I graduate this spring, into an economy that is, as we know, underwhelming.  I remain optimistic.

In 2010, I stomped grapes for Chardonnay, drank a good amount of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, read a metric tonne of journal articles, wrote some papers, took a few classes, went to Idaho, went to Washington, went on one date, took up birding, dropped the ball on knitting, took up spinning, identified 4,150 insects, learned and forgot a bunch of statistical whatnot, sat through 5 successful graduate defenses in my cohort.  I’ve made great strides in getting over my fear of arachnids.  It’s been good.  Strange, but good.

Vox Hortus is 5 years old!  There are new features in the works and lots of ground to cover in gardening, insects, science, and the natural world.  The blog has a new theme and it’s all new from here out.  Welcome back!

Run in Circles, Scream and Shout

I always feel this way by the second week of school: like something heavy is sitting on my chest. And it’s not my 13-pound complete volume of Flora. There’s a plant ID midterm this week, another weeds quiz, a club meeting, a statistics assignment, a weed specimens collection, more red clover to count, club activities to plan, places to go, people to see. And I have psychogenic fatigue.

Evidently I’m not alone: more students are using the psychological services we pay for each term, and that’s a good thing I think. I choose coffee.

Here’s a nice photo to calm us down. Weeds can be so lovely.

So I have a tremendous amount of statistics to cover this evening before I retire; I’ll just be excusing myself now.

Brassicales, I smite you.

I was looking forward to botany this term, knowing that much time would be spent keying out plants.  Today we started with Brassicaceae and I discovered that the mustard family comes to you straight from the devil.  The nuances were lost on the me the first, second, and third times around.  Finally I arrived at the target genera, and then snippily flipped my pages looking for species right up until the last 30 seconds of class.  I had one gimme of Arabidopsis thaliana which I recognized right away (one would hope).  I’m partnered up again with Kevin who was in my soils lab last term and true to form, when I turned my back, he copied my data down.  Count your own carpels infidel!

I also discovered that my new needle probes are very sharp, sharp enough to go right through your skin.