Monday, July 27, 2009

The last day of field work - July 27, 2009

Today we celebrated two birthdays - Chris and Carla! The cake was awesome! And bananagrams came in handy....

by Spencer

As I type this blog at 5 in the morning, I am reflecting on all that has passed in these last 10 days. Day 10 started just as any other day would with the 7:00 AM breakfast, succeeded by the 7:45 AM briefing, but this one felt different. It was the last one. We went out to collect fish traps, water samples, and physical data on 5 ponds, in which we found fish and tadpoles. We were often reminded that it was the “last time we would tape our boots” or “last time we would hang our waders to dry”. We took one final group picture at the wetland with the last pond as the backdrop. We headed back to the centre, and on the way saw our last set of polar bears. These polar bears were some of the best too. Through the fog we were able to see two polar bears feasting on a freshly beached beluga whale. Along with that we saw orange lichen, with which we had the same fascination as we did with it on day one. We went to the centre, played some bananagrams, then cleaned up all our supplies, entered and checked the last of the data, and packed up. We took one last trip to the dome, where we often found an intellectual conversation being turned into a game of duck duck goose, or vice versa. We headed to dinner, listened to Ymjke’s many stories, and washed dishes for the last time. We then celebrated two birthdays with a large birthday cake. Chris and Carla both received said cake, cards, and chocolates. In addition, Carla received a Winnie the Pooh orange balloon, and Chris received a smiley face balloon. We wrapped up the night with one more lecture, where we really got to think about the research we have been doing and what it all means. We left with the understanding that we made a big contribution, and that this research is an always ongoing process that we can always help with. I look forward to following this project and continuing to think about why the fish ended up where they were and what the frogs calls mean. I will miss everyone and I hope our paths cross again one day.

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