One of the most stressful parts of doing small mammal field work is the weather. Especially spring weather, the kind that could have a crazy storm or be lovely.
The nature of small mammal trapping makes predicting and being a bit obsessive about the weather hard. We go out to the site in the evening and set the traps. We then come back the next morning to check to see what we captured. These animals are mostly nocturnal, hence having the traps open at night. We are then out at the site very early the next morning, leave the lab at 6:30am to start working at 7:00am, when we check the animals for parasites, do the blood sampling and also drag for ticks around the trapping grids. This means we have to predict the weather for the night (a little rain is ok, storming and flooding not ok) and then the next morning (very difficult to do the animal handling work in the pouring rain. This made me a bit apprehensive around lunchtime:
(Notice the storm making a b-line for Bloomington. Boo!)
And as its gotten closer to Bloomington, I decided not to go out with my field assistant to set traps and drag tonight. I kind of hope it does rain to justify having to extend the field work into Friday. Ah, spring. How I love and loath you all at the same time.