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Ellen McCallie's Diary

Day 11: Earthquakes

Photo: Kathy and  Ellen measuring treeAnother good day. Kathy went tree coring with me this morning, which was really good, especially when it came to removing stuck cores. The whole lot of us has arm-wrestled before. Kathy beat everyone but one of the cameraman, quite impressive. Between the two of us, we almost pulled the cores out of the trees.

Drew had fun taking footage. He just kept the camera going with a smile on his face.

This type of forest is quite rare, even in New Zealand, as most of it has been cut for agricultural (ranching) land. The interesting bit is that if there is another earthquake in the next hundred years or more, most of the paddock/grazing land in this entire area is likely to be under gravel and rock anyway. Hopefully, there will be enough seed stock for colonization to begin from scratch again. I wonder what birds do in an earthquake...

Photo: Tree coreI couldn't believe how little time it took to sand and count yesterday's cores. We have decent equipment this year. It makes all the difference. A day like today also emphasizes that this is a team project. We are all working to show how science is done, that it is an active process of experimentation, not a recipe in a book. I think this program is doing this well — and easily. Oh, what a joy!

Another nice piece is that email and phone contact is readily accessible. I'm not much for the phone, even at home. It is nice to pop out an email to family in the evening if we get home before the place shuts. I've found out that my mom has taken to my little dog, which is really comforting as my parents are keeping little Abby for six weeks. I didn't want her to drive them crazy. Another wonderful thing is that it has rained in St. Louis, so my yard, which I planted in mostly native prairie and wildflowers with the neighborhood kids and advice from Shaw Nature Reserve, is dripping with blossoms. It has turned out to be an amazing first year garden. I never expected this much growth. I hope the kids who helped collect seed and plants are happy about it too.

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Photo: Ellen McCallie
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