Monday, June 27, 2011


First thing- at the beginning of the summer I decided to grow my hair out since I never have before (minus the years when I was younger and wore a freakin mushroom on my head.  Thanks mom and dad :} evidence can be seen in my school pictures...)  anyways, so I thought I would grow it out until our family reunion this summer.  Perhaps grow a mullet so I could be MacGyver for halloween!!  The picture below is of my hair (and beard) after a month of growth.  

I COULDN'T STAND IT.  It was such a pain in the butt.  I woke up every morning with this weird shape formed into the side of my head.  It was hot and itchy and I was constantly fearing I had ticks hiding somewhere in that jungle.  So....

I cut it!  Perhaps I have no will power to see my goal out to the end but man is it nicer and more convenient!  (except for the fact that [mom dont read this part] right after I cut my hair I forgot my hat and got a really bad sun burn on the top of my head.  Apparently hair is useful for other things such as a sun shield)  Anyways, I thought I would put it to a vote.  Do people like the hair longer or shorter?  I personally think I look completely different in the two pictures.  Thoughts?

I also decided to add a new needed "accessory" to my wardrobe.  Suspenders.  I have been walking around in some REALLY WET grass and the water that accumulates on my pants has been pulling my pants down, even with a belt, and been making it hard to walk around so I figured the added support would help.  I couldn't decide if I looked more like a summer time santa or a little lumber jack :)  But as it turns out, since I bought the suspenders the grass has been completely dry.  Go figure.  So I haven't been able to tell if they actually help out or not. I'm sure by the end of the summer I will have my chance again.

This is a picture to show you how high and obnoxious some of the grass we have to hike through.  This one is of me.

The one below is of Jesse my research assistant. 

Speaking of Jesse, here is a picture of him and Jill (Vanessa's research assistant)

Jesse and me eating some hot dogs on a non field day.

Herd of wild pronghorn.

A picture of a cliff I climbed (not up the face of the cliff) as I was walking the river bank.

And another

I tried to get a picture of this muskrat swimming in the water.  I couldn't get very close.

These last two are just some random pictures I found on my phone.  From when I visited kelly before I came out to ND.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mainly for Lyndsay

When I went to pick up Jesse and Jill from the airport a week ago (in minneapolis) we discovered that it was right by the mall of America, so we went in to check it out.  I HATE shopping and malls but it actually was pretty neat.  I would actually go back there and walk/'shop' around.  But when I was exploring I found a Lego store and it had these HUGE lego creations outside and above the store made completely of Legos.  They are kind of hard to see because I took the pictures from my phone but they were amazing to see.  I took them for Lynny because I know how much she loves legos!!

The rest of these are just some pictures of my dog!!  Yes, I know, I am overly obsessed with my dog but I don't care :}


Sunday, June 12, 2011

North Dakota 2011 Update

So I have been in North Dakota now for nearly a month.  However, until today I have not been able to start my actual research.  The rain and flooding out here has been INSANE (I'll try to get some pictures of the flooding later) and has made it really impossible to get to any of my study sites.  The flooding also prevented our interns (Jesse and Jill) from getting out here when they were originally suppose too.  Then in typical Steve fashion I got sick which put me out of commission for about a week.  Then, as I mentioned, today I was able to get out into the field and get my first day of work in.  We hiked about 7 miles through thigh high grass along a stretch of river looking for river otter sign.  Unfortunately we found VERY LITTLE which does not bode well for me.

For the past 8 months I have been wearing my 'new' hiking boots almost everywhere to try to break them in for this summer since I knew I would be doing a lot of hiking.  I thought I had them pretty well broken in until about 2 hours into our hike today...

First, I apologize for the nasty foot picture.  I HATE feet.  I think they are disgusting and ugly so I typically wouldn't put a picture like this up.  And after all of that you can't really get a good idea what the back of my heels look like based on this picture.  I have two of the biggest and most painful blisters, well busted open blisters, that I ever have had.  Heres hoping they heal soon because I have A LOT more hiking to do this summer!

These next pictures are from a trip Vanessa (the other grad student up here with me) and I took to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  VERY pretty place in western ND (part of the Bad Lands).



Vanessa and me in the park.

Here is a video of Jesse trying to catch a carp (BIG nasty fish) that were everywhere along the river we were walking today.  I have challenged him to catch one by hand by the end of the summer!!