Well, here we are at another end of an experience. I end work here on Friday and am flying to DC for a conference this weekend. This summer definitely went by faster than last year’s, but I think that’s only because it’s more familiar.
I’m cleaning up my experiment and trying to condense all the data into a few charts and a handful of paragraphs to put on a poster. I have the bare bones done, so know I just have to add pictures and try to make it look more exciting than a wall of text. I also have to take the root pictures and run them through a program to get mass, but honestly, the program is so complicated I’m putting it off until I can get someone who knows how to use it to supervise me. Beyond that its gotten cooler just in time for me to start working in an air-conditioned office, so that’s nice. I also realize that after ~ 4 years of conducting small research trials I really should know the procedure now but it somehow manages to baffle me every time. I end up running around with half an abstract trying to get anyone who’s not terribly busy to proofread. Maybe I’ll have it mostly figured out by the time I hit the 10-year mark. Speaking of my experiment though, very interesting results. 3 trees survived all 4 of the trials, with one barely hanging on and infected with a pathogen, another healthy but with little growth, and one that grew nearly 2 inches a week regardless of the water content. Unfortunately, these results really don’t mean anything because of some problems that cropped up during the trials. The biggest issue is that only one tree had started to grow a new root system to replace the old one. This means that the other trees might not have even been getting water at all, and just survived based on their own water and sugar storage. Another problem is when the stand collapsed, it killed two plants, which led to them having a pretty distinct disadvantage. Because of these issues, the most this data is good for is something to glance at while running an identical experiment to get actual results, which kinda sucks.
I went to Rochester this weekend to see the city. There was a lot of trouble with the buses to get there, but it all turned out eventually. I also need to start packing up shipping boxes to see if I can send this succulent bowl home without absolutely demolishing it. I’m hoping to rig a sort of frame to keep it from being crushed. I got to go to a Renaissance fair last week! There were all sorts of awesome shops with homemade things, including a glass booth with people blowing and forming the glass just behind the counter. I got to talk about D&D with a guy who owned a “Bard” shop with homemade instruments, see a comedy show, watch falconers send out falcons, hawks, and even owls, and watch a jousting tournament. I’m fully aware of how nerdy it sounds but it was super fun.
Last night Sara and a friend of ours, John, finally sat down and we finished the series “Over the Garden Wall”, which is my all-time favorite little show. They really seemed to like it, and we got to talk about the plot some more before everyone headed to bed. I’ve still been going to the dock when the weather is sunny, but there’s a group of about 15 or so kids who come regularly and cause chaos, so I usually don’t stay whenever they show up. I’ve got my plane tickets to DC and home, and honestly am ready to take a break from the weather this summer. My presentation is on Friday, and with that and DC, I’m sure I’ll have at least one more entry.