Monday, November 17, 2003

Okay, it's official. Only the most dedicated entomologist would do fieldwork in a state game area in Michigan during gun season.

Yup, it was the fault of those Formica exsectoides again. I'm going to be working for Cathy at Michigan State next semester, and this may have been the last warm day of the year that I could be free to do the necessary preliminary fieldwork. Fortunately, my wardrobe includes numerous layers of blaze orange. It also helps that I'm not much of a morning person; most of the serious shootin' is done before noon, and I didn't get to my field site until 12:30. Still, although I've been out in the Michigan woods in November before, this was the first time that I made such a trip into an area where gunfire was audible from several directions.

All in all, a successful trip: The ants were active, I collected 40 specimens from six mounds, and I didn't go straight from the site to a taxidermy shop aboard the hood of anyone's pickup truck. I do have one question, though: Just how would one label a collection of preserved entomologists?


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