The mornings feel like fall now. It’s harder to get up because the pitch black sky is telling me that I should still be asleep, and the chill in the air makes me want to curl up in my cozy bed. The days are still warm, however, and I’m taking advantage of all the available sunlight and warmth before winter sets in. Although many plants have been done seeding for a while, there are still many that are waiting for their moment. Yellow rabbitbrush turns entire valleys into golden seas and the flowers of the sagebrush discreetly beckon pollinators to help them reproduce. It has been great to be out in the field nearly every day, as I explore new areas and rediscover others, drive through amazing canyons with nearly sheer rock walls, all while looking for plants and collecting seed. I’ve also been able to continue working at the National Wildlife Refuge just out of town, and have helped Forest Service crews with monitoring. Getting to talk to these crews and to discuss differences in monitoring techniques, and to hear about their past experiences and amazing stories has reminded me why field biology is so appealing to me. I am not ready to settle in one spot yet, and seasonal jobs offer me the opportunity to discover parts of the country that I would otherwise never visit. I have been able to explore some amazing areas of California and Nevada that I would never have known existed, while hiking and collecting seeds as part of the job.

A rainbow after a desert storm collecting rabbitbrush seed with Liz in Nevada High Rock Canyon, NV

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