I’m sure it isn’t hard to imagine having a busy week with little to no sleep. Why? Well that is how I feel right now. There is so much happening in my life that it has been a little tricky to find a balance.  Now you are probably wondering why I titled this blog “The Russian Sleep Experiment”, if you’re not a fan of creepy stories then I suggest that you skip this paragraph. Now I can’t tell the whole story in detail so this will be very brief. In the 1940’s Russian scientists performed tests on prisoners, mostly political figures deemed enemies of of the country in World War II. They were testing a new gas based stimulant and so the prisoners were kept in a sealed and carefully monitored chamber. Then they waited to see what the gas would do to the prisoners. Five days passed and everything was okay, but after a few more days some prisoners began to complain. Eventually a few of the prisoners began to lose their minds and the peep holes the scientists were using to observe were covered so no one could see but only hear the madness in the chamber. Suddenly it went silent not a single whisper just nothing it was quite. The one overseeing the operation ordered that the soldiers go retrieve what was left and investigate it. So they did and there was a horrid scene left to uncover. Five went in and only two came out, tests were conducted on each prisoner. One was going to be operated on but when they tried to sedate him he panicked and died. The last one was awake though, and quick as a flash he was free and took out one of the doctors. He was backed up into a corner. A soldier aimed his weapon at him and asked what the creature was. The creature responded with “We are your nightmares into reality.” Unsettled, the soldier did what he had to do.

Well that story is an exaggeration of someone experiencing no sleep, but because I am a creepy story fanatic, that is what came to my mind and thought I’d share! For a second though, I was so exhausted that I did think I was losing my mind, but now that’s changed. I went and joined Laura, a fellow staff member to go count birds early Friday morning. I am not a morning person at all, but I was able to get up at 4 in the morning in order to get to our points by 5:20. For these surveys we repeatedly had to walk, stop, wait, and listen at several different points. I  was given the task of recording the data. It’s nice to be around nature but it really is a bummer that I am not able to fully wake up to enjoy it… There were so many birds out there from pelicans to Canada Geese. They are all so unique. There is a lake that the trail goes through which is nice because the soft sound of water is so soothing. As we progressed through our survey, we came across a there is a cascade and its loud and vicious crashing waters is very mesmerizing.

In addition to my bird survey adventures, I was also given the opportunity to document the process of pollen collecting. We weren’t able to collect as much pollen as we had hoped for due to the lack of identifiable native plants. (We aren’t too familiar with the native wildflowers out here..). We were able to collect two samples for research though. The featured image is actually a picture of Lily collecting pollen from a flower.

I am very excited to bring you with me on this journey as we await to move forward with pollen collection and identification!


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