I keep having this dream lately where I’m under water and I swim up to the surface to get air. When I get above the surface, there’s a rocky outcropping nearby and there are big, choppy waves. Every single time, I think “this is the ocean, it should taste salty, but it tastes fresh…I must be dreaming.” Then I wake up. What do you make of that?
I was out on a run the other day after a long, exhausting day of field work…I’ve been working long days seven days a week lately trying to keep up with my work. I was so tired on this run, and the path was choppy and broken up and I tripped at full speed. As soon as I tripped, I knew I couldn’t save it…I had a horrible long gasp, then I shouted a bad word mid-air and totally supermanned it. I skinned one forearm (protecting my face) and one knee (very bloody), plus I bruised the top of my other knee and one rib and one hip. I hit the ground so hard, and I don’t know why. When I’m totally honest, the part of the path I tripped on wasn’t even that rough…I was just too tired to pay attention. The point of all this is that I’m always super impressed by the bright pink skin that my body makes under a new scab when it starts peeling off. Good work, body. My running tights, on the other hand, have not healed yet.
I have to lock up my watering cans with bike locks at all my field sites because people steal everything in Dublin. But they starting stealing the nozzles off the end of the watering cans. What are they going to do with those?!?!?!
The night after the Santa Fe shooting, I couldn’t sleep. I’m teaching a course at an American university next year. What would I do if there was a shooter on campus? How could I protect my students? What about those teachers that tried to protect their students and died in the process? I’m no warrior…I’m a nerdy scientist who likes bees. (Even though one time I did defend my students with nothing more than a plastic butterfly net against a giant turkey.) How can I possibly hope to keep my students safe against an armed psychopath? I lay awake all night with these thoughts spinning around in my mind.
I wish humans were as logical as bees.
I have to share this incredibly interesting thought experiment on what the “perfect” human would be, given our current understanding of human genetics (and making some pretty big assumptions, but I challenge you to do better!). Relevant to people who think there is such a thing as a “pure” genetic line: The perfect human is Puerto Rican
Why is there a Lyme vaccine for your dog but not for you? Anti-vax hysteria made the Lyme vaccine inaccessible to many people in high risk areas: The incredibly frustrating reason there’s no Lyme disease vaccine
A very interesting eco-evolutionary trap…butterflies evolved to use an invasive plant, but became too dependent on it, and when land management changed the butterflies went (locally) extinct: Lethal trap created by adaptive evolutionary response to an exotic resource
Just a reminder that there may be life on Europa! Will we ever find out? Probably not in my lifetime: Icy Moon Of Jupiter Spews Water Plumes Into Space
How many flowers do we really need to support bees? More! Ken Thompson: how much pollen does it take to raise a bee?
Plant of the week! This crazy bellflower with red nectar, which it uses to signal lizard pollinators: Nesocodon mauritianus
St. Venus’s prayer: God grant me the courage to eat the bugs that give me nitrogen, the serenity to release those that pollinate me, and the wisdom to put my flowers high above my trap: Venus flytraps know not to eat the insects that pollinate them
Long time readers of this blog will know how I love to go on about blue pigments in nature. For some reason, this is a topic I keep coming back to! Discovery Of 1st New Blue Pigment In 200 Years Leads To Quest For Elusive Red
The Farm Bill just failed to pass in the House…here’s a reminder of why that bill is so important: What the 2018 farm bill means for urban, suburban and rural America
Star Wars insects!!! Imagined Insects Camouflaged as Star Wars Characters by Illustrator Richard Wilkinson
I was lucky enough to spot this beautiful specimen in the field yesterday, and even though I was in a hurry (as usual), I just HAD to stop and try to get a decent photo. (See Zoomology for a prize winning photo of this gorgeous species. Obviously, mine are not that good, but still…shiny!)
This is a ruby-tailed wasp…as far as I know it’s Chrysis ignita, but correct me if you know better!
You know I love chrysidid wasps…the cuckoo wasps.
What a chrysis!!
Not too shabby for a frantic field biologist, eh?