Sunday, August 30, 2009

So much beauty it could make you cry


So tomorrow is the last day of field work for the year. We have two sites to collect on the South Fork of the White River in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. After 6000 miles of driving, 150 meals from gas stations, grocery stores, hotels, and restaurants (the elk steak in Glenwood Springs, Colorado was my favorite), over 200 miles of hiking, scores of incredible vistas, rivers, waterfalls, and other natural beauties, looking at tens of thousands of lichens with a hand lens, and six billion nights away from my family, I think I've had my share of exploring the west for awhile. Hailey would have found a new man if she didn't have to put two kids to bed right at the prime time to hit the clubs. Jack probably has liked me being away as I always returned with some toy or novelty for him collected along my travels. However, the cool rocks and glass insulators from old power poles didn't move him as much as the toy jumping spiders or Indian weapon set. Griff has no idea who I am the few days that I've been home he scans the room for mom frantically as I hold my screaming child. I'm sure that Hailey's exhausted and tired of crap that I've put her through put tomorrow night it will be over.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

PeeWee Pirates

Our family reunited yesterday after three long weeks. We sailed over to India's house and flew off to Pirate Island Pizza. It was creepy, dark and well equipped with mostly half-hearted pirates (the staff). The food was mediocre to good and the atmosphere was pretty darn fun. The youngest pirate (Pirate Griff) screamed through dinner and nearly had to walk the plank. Dad Pirate boasted a scurvy mustache....Well enough said, but I do apologize to the Wiemers...I'm sure she learned that scary face from Cap'n Jack.
video

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 7

Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area. The end.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 6


This is why I lichen-

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weak from lichens – day 5


I know this is equally painful for anyone who happens to glance at our blog every once in a while and for the moron who said he would give a week long glimpse into my career. Its old news but today we drove a lot, stopped a lot (very little stopping was actually involved with collecting lichens), and spun our wheels a lot. Its hard to combine Mr. Super-hasty with someone else who is, well, moving at a different speed. Eventually however, we did end up on the East Fork of Bull River in the Cabinet Mountains in western Montana. There's an old growth forest that was absolutely incredible. I'm excited to run up to Engel Lake and Engel Peak tomorrow and see some of the country where Chris has explored. Now he would be a great lichening partner.

Beauty and the Beast

Here's another video of Jack. He watched 'Beauty and the Beast' for the first time today (thanks Erin!). He loved the part where Belle and the Beasty dance. Sometimes I like to just watch his face when he is enthralled in a movie. It's super cute to me.

In the last video, with Griff crying in the background, I actually was pulling him (in the carseat) closer to me so I could plug the binky in his mouth. I completely agree with Leisy; crying babies stress me out too. I thought that I was pretty tricky though. Griff was sleeping during the movie today.
video

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Here's what you're missing dad!

Just two videos of very mediocre quality and interest. Tonight I did find it interesting when I told Jack to "run upstairs." I was encouraging him to use the potty and he replied, "I can't run. I'm tired of running." Half the cuteness was his voice and the other half was finding him laying horizontal on the stairs. Guess who carried him to the bathroom? We miss you Steve.

PS If you really paid $13 on that little jumping spider for Jack, you better have a gift for me too!

video

video

Lichenized - Day 4ish

Today we tried to lay pretty low. We refrained from lichen catching and visited the local ward here in Hamilton, Montana. Things were pretty nice, but I don't think the High Priest group was happy to have someone under 30 listening in, especially someone unshaven and in sandals. Oh well, at least it will give them something to talk about for the next few weeks. I took a pleasant afternoon walk up to see Blodgett Canyon on the west side of the Bitterroot Valley. It really was pretty incredible. Tomorrow we'll be back to work up north in the Cabinet Mountains.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

tiny tears - lichening day 3


Okay, so I do get to travel and see some beautiful places studying lichens, but there's so much more to my lichening lifestyle. Today we spent the day in the Pintler Mountains in western Montana
. We did some beautiful walks in the mountains, but they were a little much for my companeros. It was fun to watch them at the end of the day.

Perhaps the most memorable part was the lunch selection by one of us licheners (I won't name any names). This selection is actually pretty typical, but as I've become accustomed over the past few years to this menu I seldom see it for what it really is. Anyway, a nice dinner at Perkins will only make matters inside your stomach a lot more complicated. Eat something healthy for me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lichening - Day 2


Rain, rain, and rain. All day the temperatures were under 50 degrees. Very chilly for may cold blood. We spent most of our time in the Selway-Bitterroot National Forest. If anyone is saving up for a trip to New Zealand save your money and visit the Selway Bitterroot. Just driving along the Selway river will make you feel like your very far from home (especially if your home isn't in northern Idaho). Speaking of driving, since June 23 I've driven over 4500 miles, and each additional mile feels more tortuous. Too bad its not over yet. Okay, I'm going to bed. Here's one photo of the Selway Bitterroot.

Rain, rain, and rain. All day the temperatures were under 50 degrees. Very chilly for may cold blood. We spent most of our time in the Selway-Bitterroot National Forest. If anyone is saving up for a trip to New Zealand save your money and visit the Selway Bitterroot. Just driving along the Selway river will make you feel like your very far from home (especially if your home isn't in northern Idaho). Speaking of driving, since June 23 I've driven over 4500 miles, and each additional mile feels more tortuous. Too bad its not over yet. Okay, I'm going to bed. Here's one photo of the Selway Bitterroot.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A week in the life of a guy who studies fungi and algae systems (day 1)


So no one cares, but I thought I would provide a glimpse into what my life is like as a lichen dude. For the next week I'll provide a day by day snapshot of what my job entails. If this sounds too awful, don't worry it will be over in a week and you can come back to see Hailey's regular posts. Unfortunately many of the juicy details will be left out and left to your own imagination.

Okay, here we go-

DAY ONE - Gospel Hump Wilderness Area, Idaho.


The few, the proud, the lichenologist


Where we work - looking towards Gospel Peak as the rain comes in.



The search -


The results - all lichen species present at these air quality monitoring sites


That's our day in the Gospel Hump. After a long day in the field its back to the hotel to swim off some calories before I put on twice as many at the 'Pizza Factory' (not the Utah Valley version) in Grangeville.

Swimming Lessons: Take One

Jack and India with their teacher Missy

Erin took this weird artsy one...just teasing Erin...Jack could see himself very easily. :)
Poor Erin, I made her take pictures and I'm pretty sure I put the camera on whacked out mode.This is Griffin at swim lessons. Apparently he isn't comfortable in the water yet either.

Jack kind of got a little done with swimming lessons. They were everyday for two weeks and he was feeling like he had done that swimming thing and all and boy was he ready for something else. I would mention India's name and suddenly Jack was at the front door ready to go. I really should have taken a picture of the two of them holding hands and running down the front hall of the Orem Rec.

I LOVED watching Jack from the observation deck. I just really wanted to know what he was saying. See Jack doesn't really like water in his eyes...:) One day the kids got to wear "sun jackets" aka life jackets and take a jump off the diving board (to their teacher). Jack marched his little way to the end of the board and I swear his toes with gripping the end of the board...did he jump, or fall? Nope. He just contemplated his fate and marched right back to safety. So the first line on Jack's certificate says, "Jack is still a little afraid of the water." Oh I was laughing!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Can Four People All Smile At Once???

That's right. I've never held a baby before...
So Steve is pulling my drill team smile. He' s so cheeky...
Fuller cousins we miss you!
Family picture time and Wayne was awesome! We love Wayne, he took our engagements too. The hardest part now is getting everyone to smile at the same time. I'm sure Steve will be excited to try again. :) Here's a couple...the funny thing is that one person would look decent and at least one other person would look ridiculous.