Thursday, April 24, 2008

That time of year

My friends here follow bird calls- they are mostly banders by trade. They seem to know every which mating noise and from whence and who it came. And yes you wonder how such a small beastie could make such a big racket. But birds are flying machines and they are made to hold a lot of air- maybe it isn't so crazy that they could cause a ruckus.

But I follow a different set of romance songs. First and always it is the peepers. Then the wood frogs, then the green. Now the tree frogs and the American toads. Peepers are the smallest frogs around but they consistently make the biggest noise. Unfortunately they all sound the same on the surface except for the occasional excited trill. Wood frogs sound more like ducks and while tree frogs sound happy their burbles don't exactly inspire. My favorite songs emanate from the toads. Long echoing trills stretching in to minutes and all toads at a different pitch and timing harmonizing with each other. But I guess this makes sense too. Honestly if you want to get some action, you need to sound fantastic if you look like a Bufo.

"I have always liked frogs. I liked them since before becoming a zoologist, and nothing I have had to learn about them since has marred the attachment. I like "looks" of frogs and their outlook. And especially the way they get together in wet places on warm nights and sing about sex." -- Dr. Archie Carr

Monday, April 07, 2008

Jn has a Job and 2/3 of a place to live

This post is for the uninformed which is most of my friends because I suck and the last week was also crazy busy. So was the week before that.

Two Wednesdays ago I had a phone interview about a job I had already kissed goodbye because it was supposed to have already been a week underway. Thursday I got coffee and then my motorcycle permit with JJ (I completely forget now why he is JJ in shorthand but I remember that he is). Later that day I got a call while buying high quality produce at Wilson Farms after visiting with the super pregnant, buck-toothed llama and the 2 super pregnant goats who like to bite chickens because I was locked out of my boyfriends house on the day before corned beef and cabbage day which I guess makes it the 27th and this a run on sentence. Regardless, they wanted me and I wanted that job more than any other job I have applied to during my lengthy term of unemployment. As I mentioned they intended to start work before they interviewed me which means they wanted me a week ago then...or about 2.5 weeks ago now which will be this Wednesday. We start from behind and race against time.

One Wednesday ago the Red Queen drove up from her castle in PA to help me pack (and go to a hockey game, a book store, an ice cream stand, and a reptile show-things that NEEDED to happen in order to pack properly I swear). We (NP included) shuffled most of my belongings in to a 5x10 storage room since I now have furniture and can't keep everything I own only in my car. However, it says in big letters on the wall in the office that you cannot sleep or cook or really have any fun at all in the storage space so this does not count as a place to live. The stuff I will actually need or desperately want to have with me is in Catsby who is reluctantly about 1/3 of a place to live. I will sleep in a dorm for the summer with 3 other people hence the other 1/3 of a place. We finished mopping the floor and cleaning out the fridge this morning and RQ and Gurgles were on the road this morning at 8am.

The Job:
I am working for the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and I am doing this. If choose not to follow the link here is a summary. I will drive around to vernal pools on privately held lands in the Taunton and Charles River watersheds and them for presence/absence of animal species, test salinities, and take water samples that will be tested for fertilizers, pesticides, and road chemicals at another lab. The goal is to hit roughly 100 pools twice between now and when the pools dry up around mid June. Then I will hopefully get to help crunch numbers for data analysis. You should still chase the link because it has cool pictures and a video describing the project. They run out of funding to pay me in mid July sometime, at which point I move back to the north shore or someplace else and reacquire my belongings and a black and white cat.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Variations on a Mango- Updated Recipe

2 Large Ripe Mangos, cut in to pieces
2-3 Peaches, cut in to pieces (Optional)
Peach schnapps
Trader Joe's Multigrain Biscuit mix
Farm Fresh Whole milk
Vanilla Ice Cream

Cut up the fruit and put it in a bowl. Soak liberally with schnapps and let the fruit bits get thoroughly inebriated. Make the biscuits according to the package (Oil, Milk, donno what else or in what proportions sorry) and add about a half of a cup of sugar (I didn't add the sugar I wish I had). Sprinkle with cinnamon and a little sugar before baking. After the fruit has floated for a few hours dish it in to bowls over ice cream with a warm, wonderful biscuit. If you make enough you can have the same thing tomorrow night too. Bonus!