Update from the field

We drove a long 9 hour drive on Wednesday, through the LA basin, then east to the Inland Empire– the Southern California Deserts. As I mentioned in the last post, I am really excited for this trip, as I am collecting a bunch of interesting and important data.

I have been watching the weather, and it has been cold and dry, exceptionally so on both accounts. Neither of these factors bode well, nor does the fact that is it a moonless night. Because we ended up arriving somewhat later than expected, I set traps in the dark, using my headlamp.. this makes is difficult to optimize trap placement..

This morning, nothing… no mice, completely empty.. This is the 1st time this has happened in an extremely long time. Bummer! I decided to try my luck elsewhere, and move my traps to a new area. Thankfully, I work in a canyon where good rodent habitat is nearly contiguous. I moved over an arroyo, to a rock face that had plenty of fresh looking rodent signs.. We’ll see what heppens tomorrow.

In the absence of mice, I decided to take the family on a long walk back into the canyon. This was great, and exhausting. Several close calls with the cholla cactus, and one more serious ‘interaction’ that required I use the needle-nose pliers to remove cactus spines.  All this with 3 year old on my shoulders for much of the walk back home..

bug  In ending, we saw a cool bug. Anyone know what it is (I don’t)?