Saturday, January 31, 2009

See I promised I'd be back

And here I am to continue my last post.

When I last left off we were leaving Port O'Conner, headed to Hackberry. Hackberry is a cool little town, but I have never been there when there has not been hurricane damage. In 2006 it was lingering damage from Rita, this time it was Gustav. Gustav did less damage, but a lot of houses were still messed up. We trapped fish at the local marina, and a local gave us directions to another site, a culvert near the local bait shop, but we didn't end up needing to move traps. Leaving Hackberry we saw this excellent van. I almost stopped, but on the road with fish I get this weird highway fever...gotta get to the next site.

The Gulf Coast isn't always the most scenic, you see a lot of this:

(that's a refinery). But there is some good scenery.

Our next stop was Leeville. Here we usually go to Gale's Bait. She's (Gale) is really nice, and questions like, "Where do you get your fish, are they local?" and "I'm looking for this one species, so can I take a look at them?" Don't phase her at all. When I asked she laughed and asked what university I was from. Apparently LSU does some research on the same species, and they come down frequently and buy them from her too.

After Leeville we left Louisiana, and headed for Mississippi. I'd never collected here before, but we found a likely creek on the water in Bay St. Louis, and caught all the fish we needed.

From Bay St. Louis it was off to my last, and frankly most visited sites, Weeks Bay and Pass Aux Herons (the channel between Mobile bay and Dauphin island). These are the most visited because they are the go to sites whenever we need some extra fish, since they are only a 10-12hr drive (depending on traffic and how fast your willing to go). I'd never had trouble collecting in this area, but there is a first time for everything. We got the fish from Pass Aux Heron fairly easily and quickly, but we'd ended up with a bad series of tides, so the water levels in the creeks we normally trap in were quite low. This led to trouble in Weeks bay, we did get all the fish we needed, but it took an extra day, and some are quite petite.

And here, a final image from the road. I am not completely sure what those are.

Now I am back to work and in the full swing. The fish are adjusting well to their new life in the lab. I have been working frantically on data analysis and manuscript revisions. Revisions should be done early next week, once we resolve some statistics issues, the data will take a bit longer. I have the analysis done, not it is a matter of interpreting the results.

Life is not all work. A friend from school who graduated last year is back in town for a visit this weekend, and cooking adventures and knitting continues. This morning I made scones out of the Pastry book, and I have to say, texturally they were the most perfect scones I have ever made. That Culinary Institute knows what they are doing. I have started knitting a sweater for Russell, and I'm almost finished with some mittens. It finally got cool again here, it was 49 this morning, so I feel a bit less silly knitting mittens in Florida.

Now, its off to the grind, gotta go check on my fishies, take Ase to the beach, and pick up the latest CSA delivery.

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