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I'm a little behind in my blogging so I'll write yesterday's blog today. I'm sitting here in my closet office. I have maps of Wisconsin and Minnesota hanging on the wall. Yesterday I cut them out and pieced them together. It looks pretty cool even though the maps aren't the same scale. I put up a map of PA, my home state, on the wall above my desk last night too, before I went to bed. I took some pictures around Andes yesterday to show everyone what it's like here. The top of the tallest part of the hill is the highest point in Douglas county. From the top there is a beautiful view of North Lake Oscar, which is just to the south, and all around there are rolling hills dotted with small farms and small patches of trees. The native landscape of this region, prairie, is hard to find. At the foot of the hill on the north side is our summer residence. They call them Condos, one has two bedrooms and the other three. The men got the three bedroom condo, which Andy has graciously named the Mando. The women have started calling their condo Raj Mahal. Except for the Andes employees who are there when we are at work we have the whole place all to ourselves. We have a pond that we can swim in. We have places of ride bicycles, and catch insects, and read, and dig gardens. I put in most of the tomato stakes yesterday. I think it gives the garden a lot of character that it was previously lacking. Living with so many Bio people is interesting. We have had a bowl of soapy water outside for a week to catch insects. This makes the fact that I'm using a plate to catch the water under one of my peace lilies seem normal. I brought a betta fish and a newt with me from school. Ian catches insects everyday and puts them in kill jars so he can pin them later. There are video cameras everywhere, that are solely for taking video of flowers to monitor pollinator activity, and then there is the garden, and several other house plants (including a small potted grapefruit tree).
Today I got my first verified case of chiggers. They are apparently burrowed in my skin, producing itchy raised red bumps.
Stuart came back today or last night with his family and two mattress-box spring sets from Chicago. So I upgraded my mattress from the one I had, which had to be the worst quality mattress that i have ever slept on. We started our group/individualer projects today. I'm supposed to be tracking insects that visit Echinacea with binoculars.

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Jameson,

I was surprised at your comment at the end of your blog "I'm supposed to be tracking insects that visit Echinacea with binoculars."

I would imagine that is the easiest assignment possible. How many tracking insects are big enough to visit Echinacea with binoculars? And why would the tracking insects need binoculars? I have a lot to learn.

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