As California has been suffering from drought this summer, my field sites are about as dry as a pool of water. I can't tell you how many times (after being in the field for eight plus hours a day) that my toes and fingers were wrinkly from the water. I can't complain too much... Except for one that thunderstorm that had penny-sized hail, I managed to avoid most large storms. Other then that, the rain keeps the bugs and ticks down, so that can be a great thing. As a lab, we visited all thirty of our populations of ginseng. My personal research sites were visited last, and I had the benefit of having the interns help at the sites in WV, and my dad at the sites in OH.
There are certainly mixed emotions as I near the end of my time at WVU, and as I finish my last field season. However, I am excited to be closing this chapter of my life, and starting a new one. After I graduate, I will be in Chicago full-time. The possibilities of a large city are certainly exciting, and it will be very wonderful to have work balance with my personal life (as my fiancé lives there.) In the meantime, I have data to enter and check, edits to review, and presentations to make. July looks like it will be done before we know it, and then it is my last round of field work. In 2016, it will be crazy to be back on trails and paths in the woods, rather than forging trails in the physical sense.