Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Birthday Marius/Halloween

Today is Marius' birthday! Yesterday, we had a few friends over to celebrate. I made chili and chocolate cake. A few of us also bought some pumpkins and I taught the Norwegians how to carve their first pumpkin! It was fun to have a Halloween themed party. The apartment has some cobwebs, a skeleton and various Halloween candles for the weekend.
[Look out for the hand in the birthday cake!] [Introducing pumpkin carving] [Excited over the pumpkins and his birthday] [The whole gang, except Ola (the hands in the bottom right) and myself]

Tuesday was just a tease

Winter is fast approaching, and my beautiful running weather on Tuesday evening was quickly spoiled the next day. Got to keep some sanity while the sun sets earlier and earlier each day!

Arctic plunge

Took the jump into the ocean after my run today. Expected worse...kind of like jumping into Lake Superior actually. But the air was still warmer than the water so just standing outside afterwards wasn't so bad.
It was my Bear Grylls moment...although not quite extreme enough to have to strip down to my 'nickers' and do some push ups to warm up Ha Ha

Today's run...

...was fantastic! I went around the water instead of along the road today. Clear skies and a nice sunset. The warm gulf stream was felt too with the occasional warm breeze. With some help from Bob Marley, I felt like I was running in Florida or something...nearly forgot it's late October in Norway and the mountains have snow in between here and Oslo. Wild!
Returning from a nice run with a smile on your face is a great feeling! Tonight I made chili for Maria...she really liked it. I think it will have to be my signature dish. Tomorrow night we will have the left overs and Thursday is a 'shrimp party'...we'll catch our own shrimp and fish and cook it up to celebrate the end of the field course!

Riding the waves in a chair

So, this is a continuation of today's post. I just had to put up this video of me in a wheely chair while the boat was rocking. I was not pushing myself along. The boat was rocking and the chair followed. It was so much fun! I wish the video had a shot of the more severe rocking moments...I was going from one side of the cabin to the other!

Marine Fauna II - 1

The second and last week of the Marine Fauna field course at Espegrend Biological Station: The weather was ABSO-TOOTEN-LUTELY BEAUTIFUL today. Warm and clear blue skies, so I eagerly raised my hand to go on the vessel today. We went to the mouth of the fjord where it was quite choppy but still very nice. We just took one kelp sample to look at bryozoa.
The weather was so nice the whole day that it was hard for me to keep focused until 4:30 when we were finished for the day. When we were allowed to be done for the day, three of the girls and I went for a walk around the area to enjoy the weather before the sun went down. Tonight we will be having another skolest dinner. [Painted topshell - Calliostoma zizyphinum]
[Bryozoa - Membranipora membranacea]

Marine Fauna Field Course - 5

Day 5 (delayed post): Today I volunteered to help on the vessel with the soft sediment dredge and sieving. Bad but also a good decision to endure the cold wind and rain for 3.5 hours. The dredge was put in the water and the boat either pulled it for too long of a distance, or the speed was too slow. The mesh was full of a couple tons of very fine sediment (the kind people pay money to lay in at spas). It was too heavy to pull on board right away so the skipper tried to pull it near the surface for a while to lose some of the contents. Fail...Then they pulled it up a little higher and sprayed a hose over it for a a while...Then they were able to get the gear on board.
As soon as it was laid down, a heap of mud came out of the front of the dredge all over the deck. The crew then attempted to put a rope around the bottom end to collect the more important part of the sample, but when it was raised, it pulled up the top more than the bottom part that they wanted and even more mud spewed ove…

Marine Fauna Field Course - 4

Day 4: Intertidal day...the usual. But a pretty sea anemone (Family Actinia), some crabs (Carcinus maenas), and various snails.
Dinner tonight was homemade pizza - we've really been feasting at Espelend. No complaints!

Marine Fauna Field Course - 3

Day 3: Sponge Day!!! [My hydrozoa] Identified a hydrazoa (beautiful!) and watched it 'attack' my pointer. I also filmed a barnacle - may sound like a boring thing to take a video of, but they're actually kind of cool to watch. (See below)
After lunch the sponge dredge came in, and we took a look at the different sponges with help from the local sponge expert. [Looking at local sponges]

Tonight's dinner was skolest (a very ugly fish) that was caught on the Masfjorden cruise by the other group; served with potatoes and carrots. Very tasty!
Also, winter is on its was so cold when I went running today that I could see my breath as soon as I stepped out the door! That's what happens at 60°N.

Marine Fauna Field Course - 2

Day 2: Up at 7:30 to have a bowl of cereal and tea for breakfast before going back to the lab for more taxonomy work.
Identified some sea urchins, hydroids, worms, and hermit crabs today. Pretty straight forward.
Dinner tonight was lasagna. I'm going to have to go on a diet after this!!
Some pictures of what I looked at today (borrowed from the web): [Hydroid]

Marine Fauna Field Course - 1

10 days at Espegrend Biological Station began today.
Day 1: We started out on the boat, and collected two dredges for identifying species in the lab. A very easy, straight forward day.
A group of us chipped in today to have tacos for dinner tonight, and tomorrow is lasagna. The rooms are really good for the 100kr per night fee. Everyone has their own room and bathroom ensuite, as well as a bunkbed, closet, desk, and internet cable. Pretty sweet digs! [The dinner table: ready for tacos!]
[Sweet digs]

Pelagic Fjord Cruise

Thursday to Saturday morning I was aboard the Håkon Mosby, a ship collaborated with the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and the University of Bergen.

[Seagulls waiting for us to dump the sample]

Thursday, we took the bus up to Masfjordnes to meet the H. Mosby. We were taken to the vessel via a small orange boat that was then connected to a rope and we were lifted out of the water to get aboard. That was a treat! I will try to upload the video when it is available from my professor.

When we got on board and settled after the safety briefing, we sorted through a bottom trawl sample. We were then given baskets of multisample trawls to sort, weigh and measure the fish, shrimp and krill. At 12:30AM we finished our samples for the day and were allowed to go to bed once we had rinsed the floor. The next day began at 7:30 with breakfast before another 10 hours of sampling trawls. The final trawl, a bottom trawl, was the most diverse (and most interesting). There was a type of invertebrate tha…

Cabin Weekend

This past weekend, Marius and I flew to Oslo to spend time with his parents at their new cabin near Dokka (about 50km from Lillehamer). The construction had just finished, so we helped put together beds and do other small things around the cabin.

The weather was VERY nice on Saturday. The second and last day of summer, according to Tron. We used the day for a nice hike with the dog. And when we got back, we enjoyed some coffee, chocolate and fruit before getting back to constructing the beds.

Sunday was raining, but that was alright because I was able to catch up on all of my readings. The whole weekend was a nice getaway, and I'm looking forward to going back for skiing.

Today, Marius was busy with a conference, so his parents gave me a mini Oslo tour, including: the new ski jump, Frogner Park, City Hall and some others.

Thank you, Tron and Rigmor for such a lovely weekend.