Why so happy? Partly because they let me out of the office for the last two weeks! I spent a good chunk of the last two weeks outside, and what is better than spending time in the woods, especially with some really knowledgeable and great people?
It started about 2 weeks ago with a workshop which was a nice opportunity to catch up with people I hadn't seen in a while (including my supervisor, who lives/works about 800 km from Ottawa). I think the highlight of the workshop was the roast (retirement sent-off) of one of my colleagues from the provincial government. For maybe obvious reasons I won't post any photos... Trust me if I say it was a great night :)
After the workshop, we spent two days touring research sites. The first day we visited McConnell Lake, north of North Bay (close to Temiskaming), to look at a white pine competition study. It was the first removal cut of the overstorey, since the regeneration has established quite well. Remarkable was the amount of red pine in the understory! The photos below give an impression of the site.
This photos is really cool. The little stem in the centre is the original stem when the tree was still very tiny (the trees were about 110 years when cut).
The next stop was the clear-cut site. It used to be a mix of low-quality popular and other mixedwoods. It was harvested about 10 years ago, and again, with the right site prep the regeneration was plentiful!
The following day we went to a red pine spacing study, but since that was on AECL property, we were not allowed to take any photos. The site visit was very successful though. We had some good discussions about next steps. It is due for remeasurement and treatments next year, and I'll be actively involved with this study. Looking forward to it!
Last week I spent most of my time at the PRF, helping out with the remeasurement of a white spruce genetics trial, but also had a chance to look at the harvest of the site of the biomass study, currently underway. As you can tell, they're using some serious equipment! And the snow has started to stick around...
But it's not just work. Life at home is pretty good too, and luckily Nolan doesn't mind spending some time outside as well. Today was chilly (-10), but sunny, so a great day to go for a walk in the Greenbelt and feed the chickadees.
We also saw a pileated woodpecker:
And even more exciting, a white least weasel, but it was too quick for photo, but it looks like this:
And of course, plenty of squirrels. We made a short movie of them being very vocal towards each other, but I have a hard time uploading it (too large?), so hopefully I can add that later. For now the photos:
Have a wonderful Christmas, and a happy, healthy New Year!