Well, perhaps because I was using my teacher voice to practice my talk, or maybe I picked up a bug somewhere, but I've picked up a sore throat and that general feeling puny feeling. But I'm on my way home, and sitting in the Sacramento airport writing this.
The conference was good, and I feel like I am on my way to making a contribution to this little taxonomic conundrum that is the group of mosquitoes I work with in California. Yesterday, I visited some of the study sites and talked with the PhD student whose project this is about what we want to get done in the next few months.
One of the places we visited is called the Heronry, as in a place where water birds nest. I and my clothes are grateful that they are away at the moment, so it wasn't a crapshoot (ha!) to walk under the nests. This is a site where the mosquitoes are different genetically, and it could be sort of a genetic congregating spot.
This is what the area functions as, in addition to a home for protected squawky bunches of birds. It's an apiary. Isn't that cool? A family lives here, and it's a woodlot island in the middle of a lot of farmland. I didn't get all the details, but the hives are transported to various fields so the honeybees can do their jobs as essential pollinators. The whole place was maybe a couple of acres, but they had at least a hundred hives around. The place buzzed, literally! But the bees left us alone, as I guessed they would.
We also visited a couple of the sites in downtown Sacramento and Old Sacramento. In this area of CA, Victorian architecture is the norm, not much Spanish influence in the places I visited. The sites were manholes and areas that led to underground drainage/sewage sources. Apparently the mosquito control folks are pretty good at what they do, because the populations get wiped out pretty regularly and reestablish because the habitat is still there.
All in all a good trip. Hopefully I'll be able to kick this sore throat without it getting any worse. Fingers crossed.