This is a bit of an appeal as this is the season when need is felt the greatest: the end of the semester and the start of winter. How many r's have to follow the B to indicate -7 C? And the wind chill factor makes it feel much colder. This is our real first blast of winter, and it will serve to convince any still confused plants that it is indeed time to drop your leaves, if deciduous. The lily pond has its first shell of ice except where the bubbler is keeping the water open; of yes, the leaf net was removed just in time. But our tree pruners have yet to return and finish the job they started several weeks ago. Are arborists difficult guys to pin down where you are? Ours all seem to be extremely busy, free spirits who show up magically long after you think they've forgotten you exist. Of course, if they want to get paid.....
This time of year can weigh heavy on a botanist. Revised manuscript is just about done, except even before it was ready to return to my colleague, the discussion had been revised again. Mrs. Phactor wants a Christmas tree set up (after it has been thawed!). A mouse continues to thwart all trapping attempts, and the kitty girls have not managed to get this one although it has tempted fate several times. They get nothing but a little exercise. One quite lethal trap has not been used because it must be placed where kitty paws cannot get at it.
Sadly one of the best herbarium interns ever is graduating, and looking for something meaningful to do. If anyone needs an intern or a horticulturalist, contact The Phactor in the comments with the necessary info. She has a twin, but they do not come as a set. The gap between college and a job that can keep you alive is a tough transition that TPP has helped many students bridge, but while they represent cheap willing labor at this stage, even that small amount of money is so hard to come by. You could double my herbarium budget and not have to give a cent. But seriously if someone is well off, TPP needs a patron of botany. You have no idea how much value and experience can be squeezed out of a few thousand dollars. Do you see how much money they spend on people who can kick, throw, hit, or bounce a ball? Research money for doing field work has just about disappeared as the prairie and rain forest continue to disappear too. Clearly government is not going to support science, especially that liberal, greenie, unimportant ecology and systematics, of plants no less. More on this to come.
21 hours ago in Variety of Life