We were out in the marsh today collecting some mud for an experiment.
Did I seriously just write that? What has my life turned into? Have I really become a mud collector? And I thought being a cat lady was kind of quirky.
Ok, so we were out collecting some mud and gathering up some sea anemones from an ongoing experiment. When we got it all back into the lab, we found that two small fish had somehow snuck into our sampling container. We needed to bring them back to the marsh along with the extra mud and roots. I scooped the fish into a beaker, grabbed the bowl of mud and roots and piled back into the car. I drove through town holding a sloshing beaker of fish (I guess “mud collector/cat lady” is only the beginning of the quirkiness).
I got back to the marsh, and a very high tide had come in, so I figured I could pretty easily just throw the fish back into the water from the shore. Unfortunately, one of them landed on top of some vegetation (the brown stuff along the water edge on the right side of the picture, a mass of Phragmites stalks) and was flopping around. Although I felt terrible, I didn’t really want to wade into that mess in my flip-flops. But remember…I also had with me a bowl full of roots and mud (eureka!). If I aimed it just right, I could throw the roots, and make a hole in the grasses so the fish could get back into the water. Did I mention that I am terrible at softball, darts, tennis and pretty much all other games of skill?? Well somehow, I did ok with this improvised sport and I was able to return the fish to a healthier (i.e., underwater) environment. Phew!
Wow, this is NOT what most of my days are like. A normal good day is a little work at my lab bench and maybe analyzing some data on my computer. A less good day is sitting in a bunch of meetings. Figuring out how to rescue a fish from a pile of grass is a good change of pace.