Maybe it's a certain environmental cue that triggers an urge to cluster, but around this time of year, somewhere around the continent, botanists gather for an annual event, a meeting, a convention, a social fest, a gab fest, a marathon of science, all rolled into one. This year the event is being held in Edmonton, Alberta, which is pretty far from the upper midwest and explains why it's so hard to get to from here by air and takes too long by ground. At any rate TPP is getting packed for a later flight west. Botany is a far flung field and generally the job situation is such that not very many of us can cluster on a regular basis. Meetings like this are actually pretty important because business gets done face-to-face, you learn new things, you meet new people, you catch up with old friends, and you generally wallow in botany and botanists. TPP will try to send along some of the botanical news from the meeting, but dang they're so jammed packed with activities getting some time to blog isn't easy. At any given point in time the many organizations, the many disciplines and specialities, assure us of having numerous events to attend at any given point in time. Just trying to schedule what you should be doing is difficult enough.