euro1   71

Blog Vorkuta/ Seida 2012: Six weeks milestone

Monday, 6 August 2012

Dinner, photo: University of Eastern FinlandDinner, photo: University of Eastern Finland
Tomorrow it is six weeks to the day since we left Kuopio in Finland and travelled to the Russian Seida. July passed by very quickly and now in August we face some changes regarding our group. Today is Zhenja´s last days as our cook and our new cook, Natasha, has already arrived. A very lucky situation for us, because today we are blessed with two cooks, who are spoiling us with very tasty food as you can see on the picture. At the moment there is mushroom season here around Seida and we will surely have a lot of those this week.

Igor will also be gone for a couple of weeks before he returns at the end of August to help wrapping up the season here in the field. Our first "newcomer" in the field is Katharina, ecological microbiologist from the University of Bayreuth in Germany, who will do research on our peat circle and peat plateau plots and will stay until next week. In addition to that Dima, soil scientist from Syktyvkar in Russia, and some of his students will arrive at some point this week. We promise some new group pictures for our next post.

Cold night, photo: University of Eastern FinlandCold night, photo: University of Eastern FinlandIt also seems like, for now, the best part of the summer is over and at the moment it is wet and quite cool. One of these nights we even had below zero temperatures and sleeping in the tent wasn't all too comfortable.

This week we will go a few days without any translator (Russian-English), but are confident that we can manage this. Communication between the non-Russian and the non-English speakers has improved a great deal, although now and then there remain some misunderstandings. So tonight for dinner we had salad with Brad Pitt – or was it red beet?

Ural mountains, photo: University of Eastern FinlandUral mountains, photo: University of Eastern FinlandLast week we finally finished our lab work, yeah, and from now on we are able to fully concentrate on our field measurements. Our final lab work comprised the determination of microbial biomass in our soil samples via chloroform fumigation. All went well but we felt a bit sleepy afterwards. Might have been the chloroform, but more likely it was the lack of sleep.

One more point that is worth mentioning: These past few weeks, we (or more accurately: Igor) made some constant improvements to our lovely green cabin. So the large group of people we are going to be here in August will find a nicely isolated cabin, with beautiful new shelves, wall-paper in the "kitchen" and new "designer lamps". Something to look forward to!

Main page of the blog "Vorkuta/ Seida 2012":