March 28, 2008

The Field Work Season and Weekend Are Coming

I was hoping to go on my first officially-sanctioned collecting trip to Wachusett today. The weather is not cooperating, however. Rain and sleet and ice pellets falling from the sky do not make for good conditions to clamber about in forests on the sides of mountains. It will have to wait.

On the other hand, I'm preparing for a productive season in the field. With the remainder of my research fund for the year, I've purchased two new geek-toys. First, there's a new dehydrator capable of accommodating large polypores. It's a beauty; by removing trays, I'll be able to dry even a large Fomitopsis in one piece. The dehydrator I've been using up until now is good for small fungi, but I'd need a band saw to slice up some of the woody polypores for them to fit. This way, I can preserve not only the fungi but the beetle galleries within them intact. Such things make me happy.

Second, I'm finally getting a new handheld GPS unit. I will always love my little Magellan, but I need something more accurate and reliable under heavy tree cover plus it needs to have basemaps of South America as well as North. I should be getting a shiny new Garmin GPSMap 76Cx delivered on Monday. It'll be useful to me not only for field collections in the US but also in Trinidad should I happen to find myself there this summer.

In the meanwhile, this weekend is looking to be a good one (aside from having to grade student assignments, which I'm going to try to get through today). Tomorrow, LL and I are heading to Boston where we'll meet up with my adviser and his wife for dinner at Lala Rokh after which we'll be going to see Laurie Anderson at the Boston Opera House on her Homeland tour.

Rather than attempting to drive, LL and I are going to take the train and check in at a hotel before dinner. We're going to spend the night in Boston and then come home on Sunday morning. That way, we won't have to worry about how long the show is going to run and whether we can make the last train back to Worcester at 11:00 PM. Besides, I hate driving in Boston.

It's going to be a great weekend, and I'll have new technological toys to play with when we get back. Who could ask for more?

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