17th of October – A month had passed and we were once again throwing bags and suitcases in the bus trunk for our 2nd trip to SBL at Saint-Hippolyte. This time, we had the task of forming a hypothesis and testing it on the field. The topic of my group of three was, in short, the differences between oxygen, phosphorus, ferrous iron and sulfide concentrations between September and October in 3 lakes, Croche, Geai and Cromwell. The two key pieces of equipment were a YSI’s Multiparameter sonde and a Van Dorn. Why is the title what it is, you ask? Because every time we step on a boat, it starts to rain. It was Raining weekend. With some snow on the last day. Guilty pleasure confession: I sent an e-mail to the station manager inquiring about a herp species list because I couldn’t find one on the SBL website; I took some time out of working on my limnology project during the trip and went on 2 short walks to find herps. I might as well jump the (unsurprising) gun now and say that I didn’t find a single one. On the other hand, Downy Woodpeckers were flooding the station. Did they perhaps chase the herps away? Our arrival was celebrated by having a nice lunch. We soon went on the boat with one of the four TAs to sample from Croche and I had the luxurious opportunity to paddle to the sampling site and back (the “landscape” pictures are in the previous SBL post). 3 bottles (trials) were filled per depth to a total depth of 10 m. 3 x 11 (including 0 m) = 33 bottles + a very sore arm, one of my partners’. We then went to the lab and did the tests for the aforementioned substances. By then, the clock’s hands were all in the bottom corner on the left side. And I almost forgot to mention that we popped the Van Dorn and luckily could borrow one from another team who was also in that lake. The next day, we left for Cromwell (with a depth of 8 m) and then had lunch. Geai (7 m) was the next and last lake…also the furthest and perhaps handsomest. I didn’t go; I volunteered to stay and do the tests in the lab as they take quite some time. Sunday was filled with graph-making, pictures, card games and volleyball.
I may come back one day. In fact, there’s an e-mail sitting in my draft folder that I may send to my coordinator about coming back with next year’s class and paying for bus transportation. Geai lake’s calling, and the station is a nice bird/herp area to explore before Migration/Cold season really kicks in…and it has a motorboat!