Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mr. Taron Goes to Washington

At the last minute, I have developed new travel plans that I'm excited about. I'll be headed off to Washington, DC on Tuesday. Actually, I'm going to the University of Maryland in College Park. I'll be meeting with a couple of folks to sort through some of the citizen science data about monarch butterflies and try to get some sort of order out of it. Who knows, maybe we'll be able to actually say something about it. Since I'll be in town, I'll also stop in on a colleague at the Smithsonian who has been developing their upcoming new butterfly exhibit. I've been answering lots of his questions as he has proceeded through the exhibit development process, and I'll probably get a sneak peek before they actually open.

Meanwhile, the promised wild weather here in Chicago in fact materialized:

Temperature at 4PM yesterday: +49° F
Themperature at 5AM this morning: -2°F

Yep, a 51 degree temperature plunge in 12 hours. Oh, yeah, and the wind chill this morning is -25° and may actually go down. Only 17 days to the tropics!

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At 10:10, Blogger robin andrea said...

Those are extreme temperature shifts! Your journey to Washington DC sounds like it's going to be a very good one. How cool to see an exhibit at the Smithsonian before it actually opens.

At 15:21, Blogger Floridacracker said...

Pretty amazing weather change. Good luck on your Maryland trip.

At 23:28, Blogger Ur-spo said...

that's dr. taron, isn't it?

At 06:58, Blogger T.R. said...

I brake for butterflies. I got pulled over in October by the Texas highway patrol for reckless driving - in actuality I was swerving back and forth to avoid migratory monarchs. 500 miles and three casualties -- it was worth the ticket.

At 09:13, Blogger Doug Taron said...

tr- That's a great story. Did they make you take a breathalizer test? In your extensive travels, have you visited the monarch wintering grounds in Mexico? I was blown away both times I have visited. My response was similar to what I felt when I saw Machu Pichu the first time.

At 07:57, Blogger T.R. said...

I have not been to Michihuacan and Mexico is one of my favorite places in the word. I saw Machu Pichu through the eyes of 40 investment bankers - suffice to say I need to return on my own. If you are comparing the wintering grounds to MP -- then its elevated to the Top 5 places to visit now.

At 11:33, Anonymous Mark H said...

Hey Doug.......You think you can shovel your way OUTTA that snow to GET to the airport? Hah. Just kidding, I remember living in Utah and thrilling with the first November snows, then by late January when it's REALLY heavy as yours is now, whining and wondering if I was going to fall over with a heart attack from all the shoveling. Sorry about the on-going SNOWS there in Illinois.......but I wish we had that over this constant MUD we're getting from all the rain. Mt. Hood NOW has 53 inches of water in the 18 feet of snow at about 8000 ft. Whew!

At 15:13, Blogger Doug Taron said...

tr- My comparison between the Monarch wintering grounds in Mexico and Machu Pichu is mainly from the fact that I felt that both expetiences lived up to my expectations when I finally saw them. Machu Pichu is a much more extensive experience. You could linger there for days. The Monarch roosts are amazing and awe inspiring. I was there in December. At one point, a member of my group said, "we're all whispering. It's like we're in church." Very apt- yet I don't feel drawn to stay there for days at a time. There's a lot of other cool stuff in Michoacán. Morelia is a beautiful colonial city.

Mark- It took me 3 1/2 hours to get home from work last night. I stayed home this morning to shovel and didn't get into work until early this afternoon.

At 22:05, Blogger Marvin said...

Have a safe trip -- and thanks for the butterfly IDs.

At 23:57, Blogger Tony said...

I so want to see Washington DC...Still have yet to travel there. And dang...you and Spo seem to get all this vacation. You guys gave me a bad time on all my jaunts last year but heck, one week here in the tropics, another week here in Palm Springs, another week here in yet another warm spot. LMAO!!! The Caribbean sounds diving right now. -25degrees wind chill. Ok I think I experienced a slight wind chill by the lake when I was there over New Years Weekend on my short whirlwind trip but it didn't quite break the zero mark. Yuk!

At 16:07, Blogger rodger said...

How cool is it to advise the Smithsonian on their exhibit? You should answer the question on where to place the plaque acknowledging those 'pioneers' that made their exhibit possible.

On another note...I heard somewhere near St. Louis they had 70+ degree temps, a tornado warning that afternoon and just after nightfall the temperature dropped to 34. I don't know how you Midwesterners stand it.


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