This fall, I built an experiment in the mountains to see how drought after a fire would affect conifer seedlings growing back in that burn area. I am particularly interested in how competitive interactions between conifers and shrubs are changed by the amount of water available. The project involved more construction work than I’d ever anticipated, and I spent a great deal of time brainstorming potential weak points, and then doing my best to address those issues.
As a consequence of all the time thinking about everything that could possibly go horrifically wrong, I became convinced that the experiment was in fact quite likely to fail. I didn’t think I’d be able to access the site again until spring, but recent warm spells here melted enough of the snow that I was actually able to get to my site to check on things.
After a more exciting than anticipated drive over still-slightly-frozen roads, I made it out to my site, and was overjoyed to find my structures still standing! Not only standing, but holding up really well.