Although I don't do it very often, camping is something I really enjoy. Something about being surrounded by forest is serenely peaceful. I went in Wyatt's car with Matthew, and Chris to the campground, and we kept it pretty lively with jazz and sarcasm. After putting our tents up, we all went to Cape Arago Beach and played in the water. Campfire was probably my favorite part, we even told scary stories and made s'mores. Richard visited us, and he definitely took home the title of "Best Marshmallow Roaster". Tidepooling the next morning was AMAZING. I've been tidepooling before, but never in South Cove. My favorite creature I saw was the Porcelain Crab I pulled from under a rock. She was carrying many tiny eggs, and I felt bad for disturbing her. Cape Arago is a really extensive state park, and I really hope we visit it again later this summer.
Monday started off with more fieldwork. I tagged along with Adam to the Met station at Tom's Creek. A Met station is a weather station that has includes a relative humidity/temperature sensor, an anemometer (it measures wind speed/direction), a rain gauge (for measuring how much rain falls near the Met station), solar radiation sensor, and a barometer (it measures barometric pressure). The walk to the station was mildly hazardous, the ground was covered with deep holes, hidden deep within tall grass. It was a glorious day to be outside, the various environments I get to explore this summer are a gift.
I approached Tuesday with some mild apprehension. Ali, Amanda, Jenni, and I kayaked to Bull Island to do some Marsh monitoring. I didn't know what I feared more, the possibility of tipping my kayak over or the mud I knew was in store for me. Despite my fears, I was blown away by the enchanting beauty around me. Between the light reflecting off the water, the far-off trees, and the wind whipping through the marsh grasses, I felt truly blessed to be here this summer. Luckily for me, I did not end up stuck in the mud this time but did come close. Ali is an awesome mentor. She was really patient with me as I learned all the plants' names and continuously forgot their 6 letter code names. It's times like these I feel like a sponge, trying to soak up all the knowledge that I can. My favorite plant is the Brass Button, the tiny yellow flowers were a nice color variation from all the green and brown. Everyone returned from the excursion without kayak flipping, despite the best efforts ot the winds that blew against us.
We all got the 4th off, so I had a lot of free time on my hands. My friend, Juliet, stayed the previous night here at OIMB, so I was determined to get the most of the day. The first thing we did was go to the farmer's market, we ended up buying a lot of fruit. We had lunch at Bastendorff, and enjoyed the view for the incoming tide. I didn't join the others at the fireworks or at the bonfire at the OIMB beach, but instead spent my evening trying to catch up on some sleep. Ana introduced me to a site called Redbubble, so I got to admire some really cute Groot and succulent stickers I might get to cover my laptop. Next week I'm going to get up early for more fieldwork, so it was nice to have an extra day to myself.
Thursday was a really nice slow day. Well, I call it slow, but I got a lot of work done. In Excel, I pulled more data from Coos Bay and put it into my density and percent cover graphs, so now I have two really cool graphs that show how eelgrass numbers have changed over the years. Shoutout to Jen and Caitlin, who are letting me use their data in my project! I also made the finishing touches to my 2016 temperature data and started to work on 2005 data. What I constantly get reminded of is how picky Excel Pivot Tables are. Pivot Tables are really helpful, but you need to be exact with what data you put into it, or it won't give you accurate results. For the temperature data, I will be pulling from 2005-2008 (skipping 2006 because we don't have data) and 2015-2018. It felt really good to accomplish things today, and Friday will probably be much the same.
Natalie, Chris, and I went to help Wyatt Friday morning to do some "jellyfishing". We were hoping to find some pleurobrachia for Wyatt and his lab, and although we saw a lot of jellies, we didn't see any pleurobrachia. The most exciting find of the morning, for me at least, was something that looks like a feather lined worm. I don't know what it is, so I hoping to get a chance to talk to Richard or Maya for some ideas. Amanda was really nice, and unlocked the door to my workspace for me when I got to the office. It's nice to have a workspace were people are 100% willing to help people. I've gotten to help Chris and Wyatt with their traps, visited Natalie's lab, and have interacted a lot with Amanda while in the field. It has only been a few short weeks, but I already have connected with so many people.
I think the most important thing I've been realizing during my stay here at OIMB is that I compare myself a lot to other people. This internship isn't a competition, we're all here for the experience and to learn. Asking questions and asking for help are okay, I'm still learning, there's no reason to expect myself to know everything yet. I'm doing so many things for the first time, and the only person who has criticized my failures is me. My goal for future weeks is to let my fear and self consciousness go, take time to enjoy what I'm learning, and focus more energy on getting work done.