A stick shift, a new truck, and getting paid to catch butterflies

First two days of this week were back at the lynx habitat surveys – now up to 359 of 714 points (the total grew by almost 50% when we were told to survey pure conifer stands as well as stands with aspen). On Monday, Kate checked out the BLM’s only manual transmission truck – a little Ford Ranger. So I got my first chance to work a stick. Pretty easy over 10 mph, but I never managed to start out smoothly.

Today Chrissy needed help with insect collection on her potholes project, so Kate and I tagged along. My job was to catch butterflies and dragonflies in a net and to suck up tiny insects using an aspirator (basically a tube with a chamber to catch the bugs). Chrissy tried to wade out to collect aquatic insects and soon found herself mired nearly to her waist in mud. She lost a shoe in the deal, and Kate and I enjoyed ourselves – who wouldn’t mind getting paid to chase butterflies? We checked out one of the BLM’s newest trucks, a Ford F150 with under 400 miles on the odometer. It might be a long time before I ever get to drive a vehicle that new again.

Michele and Chris arrived around 6 pm. We went out for tasty food at Cafe on Pine (Pinedale’s only fancy restaurant) and caught up on stories and news.

Weather has been beautiful – frost again this morning but warming up to about 75. Could be some thunder ahead, but otherwise looks good.

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