From Colleen (posted by Jim):
Team Grasshopper Update
Two days ago (6/18) we had an action packed, fast paced day of collecting our wonderful research specimens, O. asiaticus. The morning sky was gray, but like the mailman we collect/deliver in rain or shine, so we set off to the collecting site. We arrived at the field and team grasshopper (Shuguang, Arianne, Colleen, Jin Feng, Kong Yuan, and Fan Zhan Tao) began to work amidst gray clouds and whistling wind. After the collection, we delivered the carefully selected specimens to the cages on the nitrogen fertilized plots. To be clear, the plots are nestled between rolling hills next to the infamous BEF plots. Lunch break was in order and we ventured back to the field station for a vegetable dish, rice, and steamed buns.
After lunch the sky was still gray and the wind persisted, but team grasshopper remained determined to increase the high density green grasshopper treatment to n=8. We arrived at the collection site and worked efficiently to obtain the desired number of hoppers. Finally, we were working on the last cage of 20 black grasshoppers and we felt the first raindrops. We rushed to get the last 3rd instar hoppers into the cage and threw all the equipment in the back of the car and jumped in. As were drove down the dirt road towards the nitrogen fertilized plots the magnitude of the rainstorm increased ten fold. (At this point it is important to realize that the nitrogen fertilized plots are about ¼ mile from the parking area.) Without hesitation team grasshopper bolted out of the jeep, grabbed the terrified specimens, and started running to the plots as the rain plummeted towards them aided by the wind.
The nitrogen plots were finally reached and with efficiency that would rival Michael Phelps the grasshoppers were distributed according to density, color, and soil treatment. Arianne huddled behind a cage looking at a saggy, soaked map of the plots and shouted instructions in English that were translated to broken Chinese/ English by Colleen as she ran back and forth from Arianne to the cage that needed grasshoppers and a label added. After grasshoppers and tags were put on the cages, team grasshopper was drenched. We might as well have just jumped in a pool.
But that was not the end of the day! It was Arianne’s birthday!!!! So we went back to the field station and set off to dinner in a nearby town with friends. After getting stuck in the mud, the car dying for a bit, and stopping at 2 other restaurants we found a wonderful restaurant with Hot Pot and Bijou. We ate, drank, and sang many birthday songs.