A mostly frustrating day in the field: I had more success in the mouse department, but they were VERY cold, and they didn’t want to eat/drink.. this part of the plan was critical.. Sleep– yes, eat, not so much.. To make sure the mice dont get so cold tonight, I bought some pillow stuffing, and filled the trap with plenty.. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll find nice, toasty mice, just waiting to drink the fresh water I’ll provide! I also added a bit more food, hoping that some more carbs will keep their little mouse metabolism high. Here I am holding a mouse in each hand, trying to warm them up.
On my return to the station, I found my wife and kids doctoring a bat.. a western pipistrelle, which is the most common bat here in Deep Canyon.. They found it in the pool, hanging on for dear life. This poor guy must have swooped just a bit too low. He was cold, and had a torn wing. We turned him over to the reserve biologist for rehabilitation..
In general, the field is a great place to take the kids. Around every corner is an adventure.. a learning experience. This time of year is relatively safe (no venomous snakes), so the worst that can probably happen is getting ‘bit’ by a cactus, or a scraped knee, but finding old bones, looking through scat, digging up an ant hill, etc far outweigh this. Our kids have largely grown up as city kids, so getting them out into nature is great!