I miss my field site in New York. I knew I would, and I felt a little sad every time I went out there last summer, knowing it might be the last. When I was sure it was the last time, I was very sad. But the snails are still there, doing their snail thing, whether or not I am there to check on them.
My new job involves a lot of deskwork right now, and will involve a little bit of lab work, but nothing in the field and precious little with live larvae. I'm trying not to be too bummed about it. I mean, if this is the view from the lab, how bad can it be to have to stay there?
|Isn't it wonderful? This photo was taken in early December.|
Plus, I finally have running seawater, which is something I've wanted for years. I spent an absurd amount of time and mileage hauling seawater during grad school (and I was lucky to have it within hauling distance, rather than having to make my own). I calculated that during peak seawater use that I was hauling around 30 gallons a week, in muscle-building three-gallon jugs. It's rather ironic that I didn't have running seawater when I really could have used it and now that I have it, I won't be needing it very much...but so it goes. I'm still hoping to be able to get some experiments done here.
Here are a few cool things I have seen since moving.
|Winner of coolest animal seen so far. This is a crinoid. It's an echinoderm, like sea stars and sea urchins. |
Many crinoids are stalked and live really deep, but these feather stars live in warm, rocky habitats.
It's the first time I'd seen one, meaning I got to add a whole taxonomic class to my life list.
Everyone has an invertebrate life list, right?
|The lacy fan in the middle is a bryozoan, or moss animal.|
They are all colonial, and are really common members of the hard-substrate fouling community.
This particular guy is called Neptune's Lace, and the squiggly white things are worm tubes.