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Herschel Island 2013: Having a break!

(Photo: M. Fritz) Having a lunch break from hard work core drilling and watching the fox kits (Photo: M. Fritz) Having a lunch break from hard work core drilling and watching the fox kits Wednesday, 17th of July 2013
 
Yesterday Isla and Louise were hiking up to Colinson Head (the NE ridge of the island in about 3km distance) to monitor the shrub vegetation at the long-term plots, when in the distance they saw a white blob.
 
At first they thought it was an iceberg, but on closer inspection with binoculars they were surprised to find that it was a ship under full sail!
 
They were initially convinced that it was a pirate ship, but it turned out the sailors were two very nice people from Québec, sailing from Inuvik to Western Alaska.

Meanwhile the coring team took a lunch break from their hard work drilling into the permafrost soils of Herschel.
 
(Photo: I. Myers-Smith) Louise and her vegetation plot called Koriander meet one of the fox kits (Photo: I. Myers-Smith) Louise and her vegetation plot called Koriander meet one of the fox kits They hiked up the hill to eat a snack while watching the family of foxes hanging out around their den on the ridge north of Pauline Cove.
 
We took the cutest pictures of the fox family with their eight youngsters, six red and two dark ones, playing, jumping, chasing, and fighting.

We are now trying to get into a normal Arctic rhythm, but it is difficult.
 
The alarm clock rang at 11am (3 hours earlier than yesterday), but it took Micha over an hour to get everyone out of bed with the smell of coffee and loud music.

For most of us, today is a lab and data management day. It is very stormy outside with heavy wind and rain.
 
Fortunately, we haven´t had any other bad weather thus far.
 
Temperatures are mostly between 2 and 16 C, but with the strong wind and damp conditions the work outside feels much colder.

(Photo: S. Weege) Micha Jule and George looking for  a good sediment sampling spot at  the slump headwall (Photo: S. Weege) Micha Jule and George looking for a good sediment sampling spot at the slump headwall Micha, Jule, and George braved the weather with their wind and rainproof clothes to sampling of sediment soils along the coast.
 
The rest of us put on the kettle and got out our computers, and started entering in our field data from our mud encrusted field books into organized excel files.

In camp we had some other visitors today, this time local islanders.
 
Around 17 muskoxen came over the hill down to our spit, three large males, twelve females and two year old calves.
 
Muskox look like shaggy highland cows grazing the tundra, but they are actually more closely related to goats or sheep.
 
Seeing muskox on the horizon makes it feel like we have traveled back in time to an ice-aged Arctic!

(Photo: I. Myers-Smith) Muskox visiting our field site (Photo: I. Myers-Smith) Muskox visiting our field site Sending you greetings from our cozy cabin with the hum of several computers on the table and the crackling of a fire in the wood stove.
 
 
 
 

Written Isla and Stefanie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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