Drama, Environment

Dust Storm of Apocalyptic Proportion

Outside. Tonight is going to be a bitch without AC.


Ecology, Environment, Global Change, Green, In the Kitchen, Organic

Earth Hour Pictures

Pre-Earth Hour after-market espresso break. DH sure loves that biscotti.


Sun induced delirium causes hallucinations of delicious food.


DH making bread.


DH posing with bread. We got to use our dipping set because of this!




Purple carrot!
Ecology, Educational, Environment, Global Change, Green, Rant

What to do Now? (Sorry, Rant)

Initially, I chose my major because it was interesting to me and very flexible.  I’ve always had this thing about not being caged in or tied down with limited options so I wanted a bio degree that would let me travel, be outside, and generally screw around.  Well, be careful what you wish for.

Now that it’s time to find a real job, narrowing decisions is tougher than expected and I’m not as willing to leave AZ as I was before.  This is due to DH’s education, as I have posted before he can only take so many credits at a time due to our financial situation and I would hate for him to take time away from it or get screwed over by credits not transferring to another school.  Many of the interesting jobs are located elsewhere and though we would love to get out of this state it isn’t looking so great right now.  I have an interview with an environmental lobbying group coming up but this is not my preferred route.  Field work would be awesome, but not like Game and Fish Biologist, out-in-fraking-Denali-for-months work (though I have it on good authority they have a lot of fun and mess around all the time, such as “sampling” fish stock on the clock).  Another opportunity is with the EPA but they aren’t interviewing until April.  I would like a crack at this!  Yet another thing is these fancy jobs are great for new grads but require a 2 year committment.  Do I just not say anything about the possibility of DH not being able to stay?  So I might go the consultant route which sounds fun and dangerous for nerdy biology types but could potentially be a soul-sucking-sellout thing if you have to make a bad company look good.

For example, one opportunity I passed on was as a private wildlife consultant for a defense contractor in Sierra Vista AZ.  They basically wanted fresh meat to write a nice little statement saying their plans to remove desert tortoises would not negatively impact the species or its habitat.  So not gonna happen, those vulnerable little guys are my homies!  And you know what else?  I do not feel adequately prepared in NEPA knowledge, much less EIS writing.  On top of this, to get certified in these things usually requires 3 years working in the field.  How am I going to get a job to get experience in NEPA if you have to have NEPA & EIS experience to get a job?

So for now, one step at a time.  My sweet mother-in-law insists the right job will find me.  I’m not so optimistic but she means well.  I could always study sloth migration patterns…

I did get some nice networking cards made. You never know who you’ll meet up with!
A cute picture of DH playing with our Rat, Portabella. We got her from the AZ Humane Society in December.
DH actually made this box for her to run around in. He’s kind of crazy like that :)
Educational, Environment, Explanations, Global Change

Happy Halloween!

Lots of stuff:

Soil Ecology Field Trip Group: C, F, and M


Mr. W, THE soil expert/artist telling us we suck : )


I work as a tutor and my students' objectives include "Follow a set of written directions" so I wrote a treasure map. The map is on old-world map scrapbook paper, the clues are bound in red ribbon, and a jeweled treasure box awaits the students! We're doing this activity Monday.
Treasure chest


Zombie Walk Downtown Phoenix


Creepy old Rosson House, Downtown Phoenix. Happy Halloween!
DIY, Ecology, Educational, Environment, Gardening, Global Change, Green, Organic

Oktoberfest Weekend!

Oktoberfest traditionally takes place at the end of September and runs through the 1st week of October, but in AZ it’s freaking hot so we get a late start in attempt to beat the heat.  It is still 108°F here in Phoenix, so we keep our daytime celebrations inside.  DH and I are excited to start the German Beer season as we usually get 3 weekends packed with different city-sponsored events! 

We did start celebrating last night, with a German-inspired sausage, cabbage, and potato salad dinner.  We will also make pretzels sometime this weekend, so stay posted for that recipe. 

Chimney starter




Cabbage salad


Dinner with DH's homebrewed hefeweizen. Click on the picture for our new blog.
Ecology, Educational, Environment, Explanations, Gardening, Green, In the Kitchen, Organic

Worst. Biologist. Ever.

Do you remember a few weeks back I posted pumpkin pictures from the garden?  Turns out they weren’t pumpkins.  Not sure exactly how it happened, but the plants I thought were squash might actually be pumpkins and the plants I thought were pumpkins somehow are cantaloupe.  

I did plant cantaloupe once upon a time but when they didn’t sprout I forgot about them.  I planted squash and pumpkin later.  Plant morphology for all of these are similar because they are part of the Cucurbitaceae family.  I made the rookie flora mistake of “identifying” my not-yet-blossoming plants by leaf characteristics (Don’t do this in the field unless you are an expert, especially if you plan on eating the plants) and not revising these decisions.  

I wondered why this...


… didn’t look like this.


Definitely cantaloupe


There is a considerable amount of bug damage.


But some of the plants are doing well. Pumpkin.


DH made this wine from muscat grapes. Delightfully sweet and spicy!


Raspberry Frozen Yogurt