Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Curse Continues...

Last night I drove up to Pittsburgh with a friend from school to go to a baseball game.  My Rockies were in town!!  It also just happened to be "Buc Night" so the tickets were only a dollar as were the hot dogs!!  Since the tickets were only a dollar I bought two extras so we had some more room on either side of us (I HATE being crammed in next to people at sporting events).  This was probably a better idea then I originally thought because the Pirate fans around me were not to thrilled to have a Rockies fan cheering, somewhat obnoxiously, in their mist.  One guy even threatened to "chop my head off" =}

The game started off really well in the first with the Rockies hitting a 3-run home run but by the 6th inning it was all tied up.  It ended up going into 14 inning before the Rockies fell ={  And those were the COLDEST 14 inning of my entire life!!  We were frozen solid by the time the game was over, around 1:30 am.  The 3 hotdogs and nachos I ate weren't extremely happy with me either by that point.

So unfortunately, as I have complained about before, my dreaded curse continues.  For the life of me I can not go to watch any of the teams I love and watch them WIN....  I seriously just need to retire from going to sporting events...

This was taken right after the game ended so I wasn't the most thrilled at the time.  However, I'm still glad I went.

I forgot to mention that one of my dreams is to catch a fly ball, preferably from my Rockies!  Well last night one of the Rockies hit one over into my section.  It landed a few rows in front of us but bounced up to the section next to us.  It then hit off of a chair and started rolling down my isle RIGHT AT ME!!!  My friend and I were going to get it when some drunk guy jumped all over it.  COME ON, soooo close. It literally was about 2 seats away from me.  Ahh... maybe next time...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Small-Footed Bat

I have been extremely stressed the past few week and have not been getting much sleep.  Since I am up in the middle of the night most night I thought I might as well use that time wisely.  So, a few weeks ago I got a research technician job working with bats.  In case any of you weren't sure, bats are nocturnal and are up in the middle of the night as well! 

We are studying the spread of 'white nose syndrome' which, if I remember correctly, is a deadly fungal infection that spreads very easily between bat populations.  As you can see in the picture above, we go to old train tunnels to trap bats.  You can't see it very well but right in front of the tunnel is a giant net that covers the entire entrance.  The square that you see in the middle of the 'net' is where the bats try to fly through.  The square section is lined with rows of fishing line.  The bats will fly into the fishing line and fall down into a bag at the bottom where we collect them.  Since I don't have my rabies vaccines I don't get to handle the bats but I'll do the data recording, sterilizing, and help with the setup/takedown.  

This is a view of our work area looking down from the top of the tunnel.

This is our work station where we bring the bats back to work on.

Last night we caught our first bat of the season and it just happened to be a small-footed bat which is a state endangered species and probably soon a federally endangered species.  These are the bats we really want to find (although any bat is good!)  When we find the small-footed bats we attach a radio telemetry tracker on them so we can follow them over the following 2 weeks after capture and release.  

They let me name the bat because I came up with a funny name!  At least I thought it was funny.  When we catch a bat and record the data for it we have to make note of what species it is.  We use 4 letter codes that are abbreviated for their scientific name.  The small-footed bat is abbreviated MYLE.  Naturally Miley Cyrus came to mind.  Myle, Miley, get it?!  However, since it is a boy bat I just named it Cyrus.  Come on, thats funny right?  :}

Here we are getting ready put an ID band on his wing.

I love this picture!!  Hopefully you can blow it up after I publish this post.  He's not angry, he's just saying 'cheese'  :}

This is a picture of the bat after we had the transmitter attached, right before he was released.

Me with the bat.

Lisa (my office mate) with the bat.

Juliet (my boss) with the bat.