At about 3 pm yesterday it occurred to the Phactor that should he want a collection of winter condition twigs for a lab exercise, it would be one hell of a lot smarter to collection them while a nice 50 degrees outside. That began a concerted two and a half hours of field work, only briefly interrupted by campus police wishing to know what was going on. Officer: What is going on here? Phactor: Collecting specimens for a lab. Officer: Do you have permission? Phactor: Permission? This campus is my classroom. Any other questions? By the time the collecting was done a huge plastic bag was quite awkwardly full and reasonably heavy, but enough diversity was collected, included at least 2 species in 4 or 5 genera, so that students will be able to observe, sort, and organize twig characters, all before they get any terminology, and then use this data for construction of a dichotomous key, and then finally to figure out the species and evaluate how successful their efforts were. And this morning, awakening to a cold, windy, white winter scene, well, actually awakening to a black paw on my cheek announcing that cat breakfast time was nigh, the Phactor was congratulating himself for his emergency field work. Those fingers work so much better when well above freezing. Yes, it's good to have one of life's little triumphs every now and then.