Today I had a moment in which I exclaimed: I love what I do! It occurred this afternoon as I worked at Rock Springs, launching an experiment.
My fungicide efficacy experiment is a replication of a study I did last year. I’m conducting it in a fenced-in area at Rock Springs. While the plants are facing certain death–and might be inclined to escape if they caught wind of their future–the fence is not to prevent them from running, rather it is to prevent deer from eating my experimental units (which would cause me considerable grief). I always attach the bungee cord and chain on the gate in a very specific manner, which lets me know if anyone has been inside the fence since I’ve been there.
Before today I had planted all the firs, and yesterday I applied the first round of fungicide treatments. Today I was armed with rice. Deadly, deadly rice.
After a few hours of parsing out rice in 1/8 teaspoon servings I fixed my broken irrigation lines (for the fourth time this year already) and collected my first data readings (every plant is healthy . . . that won’t last).
Every time I work with rice that I have cultured Phytophthora on I am struck by how good it smells. I’d like to figure out what is producing the scent. Is it something from the carb breakdown? At some point I might look into this, for if it is edible it could be awesome. I am extremely paranoid about eating fungal or fungal-like things of unknown toxicity (I love cooking with mushrooms but I never collect my own because I couldn’t enjoy eating them while I wondered if my liver was failing). So I’m not about to try this tempting rice without solid evidence that it is safe. Boring? Maybe. But alive.
Now my experiment is up and running and my living room is no longer full of beakers of rice. It was a good day.