Even though I am continuing the same project from last year (how maternal stress affects the offspring in fence lizards), there are still some striking differences. One of the biggest is that there are fellow grad students and a post doc this summer!
Also, last year we made the drive in one day, however this year we broke the drive up over 2 days. This gave us an excellent opportunity to experience different parts of the USA on our drive. For the night we stopped in Knoxville, TN and had dinner at an amazing place called Calhoun’s On The River. True to its namesake, it had a beautiful view of the Tennessee River!
After all the driving, we finally made it back to Solon Dixon and started catching lizards. As usual, the lizards’ personalities were very evident.
On top of finding many fence lizards, we were also about to see many other reptiles and amphibians!
As I spend more time down here, I find it rubbing off on me more and more.
After catching the females, our first trip came to an end. However, we were quickly back down to release the females and run experiments with the hatchlings. With us this time we had an undergraduate researcher, Jen!
As we wait for more hatchlings to emerge, we have been focusing on removing fire ants from some of the enclosures we built. As fire ants are highest in the mounds earlier in the day, this means some early mornings. On the up side, it also means we always get to see the sunrise.
Most things have gone well, with only one piece of equipment starting to show signs of wear, but this just gave me an excuse to do some handywork!
Things have started to pick up in terms of hatchling, so soon you should be able to hear about how things are going with them. Until then, here is a pic from right here at Solon Dixon