Summer thus far

The first half of the summer is pretty nuts around here.  I do biological surveys for a living, which means that the slow winters of almost no work quickly turns into 60+ hour weeks.

SDIM0170Narrow-stem Gilia, Gilia stenothyrsa

Western Colorado is quite rich in endemic plant species, some of which exist only in a several-mile radius.

SDIM0185 Camissonia eastwoodiae

Most people go places for scenic value or for solitude.  Having some understanding of the natural history of an area can transform somewhere seemingly bland into some pretty special places.

SDIM0242 Smooth green snake

SDIM0447 Surveying for nesting raptors in some downright incredible Pinyon woodlands

SDIM0450 Serviceberry flowers


When the aim is having my eyes open to everything around me rather than getting from point A to B, I see things that I usually miss while on backpacking trips.


Weekends have been full as well, and packrafting has been the perfect early summer activity when the canyons are getting a bit warm and buggy and mountain access can still be sketchy.

SDIM0560Checking out some cliffs on the Gunnison



Southern Utah’s isolated mountain ranges are insanely awesome.



The only days since mid-May not spent outside at work or adventuring on weekends were spent with good friends in Pittsburgh, where we still did some climbing.


…and a bit of relaxin…

DSCF5268Photo Shauna, apparently with her mind in the gutter.

On another boating trip, every desert noob’s worst nightmare was realized and our friend actually got stung by a scorpion while she was sleeping.  I’ve always thought (and still do) that that was a completely irrational and dumb fear, but I guess now I’ll have to acknowledge that it happened once.

SDIM0834Little rascal was released from his Rubbermaid prison in the morning.

There was also another particularly great packraft/hike that deserves its own post….stay tuned…

This weekend, rest.


3 thoughts on “Summer thus far

  1. Was wondering if you could provide some details regarding the scorpion bite? was she sleeping out in the open or in a tent? Rolled over on it? Woke her up I assume. How is she doing and what kind of field care did you provide? I ask because I have to admite this is a nightmare scenario for me.

    • We were just sleeping out without a shelter. The scorpion was on her shoulder and when she brushed it off in her sleep it stung the palm of her hand. She took a benadryl just in case of a reaction and went back to sleep. In the morning you could hardly tell where the sting was. She said it was about like getting stung by a bee.

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