I am going to be doing fieldwork tomorrow and Friday, delineating wetlands up in the north woods. I couldn't be more thrilled. Aside from the fact that any field day beats any office day, we've been having the most beautiful weather this week. Plus, the bugs are gone already. It should be a great couple of days.
Many of my years of fieldwork have been conducted alone, just me and the woods. That is actually how I like it best. I see a hell of a lot more wildlife that way, for sure. It is strange to become reacquainted with working with other humans. Delineating wetlands works best in teams, and I like my coworkers. That is not the issue. However, they do have strange eating habits that I find utterly inadequate for the demands of actually working.
A typical day of fieldwork for these folks involves stopping on the way to the site, and stocking up on gas station food: seeds and nuts, granola bars, meat sticks, those weird orange crackers, chips, candy bars. They fill the pockets of their field vests with this junk, and feed on it all day, never eating a proper meal. I find this utterly mind boggling. It seems to be part of the culture here, particularly with some of the men.
Since we'll be working out of a motel, I can't operate on my normal methodology, which involves the advance preparation of honest to goodness food. I might make a big batch of pasta salad (Italian dressing, not mayo) or tabouli, and pack it all week, stocking my cooler each morning with other goodies like fruits and veggies. Those might get stuffed in the pocket of the field vest. Definitely not pop tarts.
The motel closest to our field site, where I stayed last week, had a great continental breakfast, with lots of packable items to take along. Unfortunately they are booked up this week, and we are staying elsewhere, a great unknown. I have a sandwich ready to pack in my cooler tomorrow. We better do better than seeds and nuts on Friday, though, or I will be one cranky little rodent.