It was a warm and muggy Tuesday following a Monday, as Tuesdays often do, and thanks to the fall of the holidays, this Tuesday happened to become christened a ‘Sticky-Trap Tuesday.’ My trusty partner, Smiley, and I headed out upon our momentous adventure, with lunches packed, sample bags labeled, and spare Sharpies on hand. Other than a near miss with a road-grader and a bit of baja-ing over a bumpy patch, our first set of petial samples went off without a hitch. Little did I know, however, that it would require every ounce of energy reserves from my PB&J s to tackle the next obstacle ahead of me.
Sticky-Traps MC2 1-5 were mired in what appeared to be a potato patch swamp. As disgusting and disturbing as the site appeared, I simply tightened my ponytail, rolled up my sleeves, steeled my nerves, and for the sake of ‘Love, Money and Science’ or in this case, just science, started bravely into the soup-hole of death. As I began my deterring tromp, I realized that due to a slight mishap in the earlier morning’s endeavors, my hair was infused with pheromone laced sticky-trap residue that was likely to bring my gallumping carcass to the attention of multiple flesh-eating mosquitoes and shoelace-adherent fire ants. But, as I carefully eyed the murky water next to the path I was blazing through the potatoes, there was only one thing that was really bothering me; “Could there possibly be alligators in there?”
To the slight dismay of my inner “Indiana Jones” I didn’t have to wrestle any alligators. I returned safely to our all-terrain vehicular device, and to the amusement of my trusty partner Smiley, performed a rendition of a puppy-dog ‘I accidentally peed on my paw’ dance in a valiant effort to get some of the mud off of my shoes. It was for naught but her laughter, which did much to brighten my mood, as it always does. We piled back in the vehicular device and headed down the road, jamming out to what we declared the Song of the Day, Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga, because we knew we had one more possible reptilian-ish challenge to face; Rattlesnakes.
After mastering a self taught lesson on the art of physics, specifically fulcrum points and leverage (opening the wire gate) and pulley systems (resetting the tower traps) Smiley and I shouldered our sweep nets and bravely forged our way into the savanna of Crested Wheat Grass, Needleandthread, and Fringed Sagewort to face the possible danger of poisonous reptilians. Other than a brief run-in with a cactus, our investigation of the effectiveness of growth-controlling pesticide was relatively uneventful. Smiley and I had to giggle at ourselves in our ‘sample-bag tutus’, but I was again, the more hilarious of the pair as the aluminum residue transfer from my hands to my sweaty face gave me the illusion of a ‘five o’clock shadow’. On our way out the gate, Smiley discovered a swarm of interesting looking orange and yellow dragon-flies and managed to catch a couple for further analysis back at the lab.
27 songs and 2 ice cream bars later, Smiley and I finished up the last of our petial samples and trap collections in the relative safety of HQ, ‘dancing badly’ to Edge of Glory and giggling our fool heads off. After an exchange of smiles and congratulatory high-fives, we declared that “It’s probably illegal to have this much fun” and safely stored our samples in the freezer.