Monday, July 27, 2009

Snowbird, Utah for Botany & Mycology 2009 meeting

My Nepal posts will be interrupted for this brief interlude to my annual scientific conference. I'm in Snowbird, Utah for the Botany & Mycology 2009 meeting. Snowbird is a lovely setting for a meeting; a ski resort with the conference center sitting at 8,100 feet. The top of the resort is at 11,000 feet, I think. It must be higher than the mountain I'm looking at from my room, because the tramway goes up and over that spot.

Here's a picture of my view, taken with my cell phone.

the view from my hotel window at snowbird utah for Botany 200... on Twitpic

I'm watching the sun work it's way down from the peak this morning, so my view is to the east.

I arrived mid-afternoon yesterday and it was pretty hot outside. I enjoyed watching ground squirrels on the grass - they must have dens in the slope down to the stream. There are a lot of plants in bloom up here as well and I photographed a couple of different Penstemons yesterday in the calm air at dusk.

I went to the Plenary lecture, given by Nancy Turner, on the ethnobotany of Pacific Northwest indigenous peoples. It was pretty interesting and I learned a lot of new things about the use of plants in those cultures. The mixer was afterwards - well attended, but I never enjoy those kinds of things. I don't know why I haven't developed a social ability after all these years in academia, but I'm always uncomfortable in a mixer setting. I need to bring Emma, my miniature dachshund - that would make it bearable. She doesn't have any trouble approaching strangers and distant acquaintances for some social interactions.

Doesn't this picture just scream, "Love me! I'm adorable!" ?

One thing I didn't know about Snowbird is that the bird doesn't go for the early worm around here. This place is shut tight until 7 am. That's pretty hard for an early riser on east coast time, especially with it not getting light until well after 6 am. Oh well - off to my first session this morning. Should be an interesting couple of days for the beginning of this week and then the Dublin Irish Festival is next weekend.

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