On Thursday Angelica's group walked to Punta Juan Carlos on the other side of the island (about 30-45 mins walk away, approx. 2 km). We walked through a lot of snow and much of it was melting underneath making the ice-free areas very boggy. It has been a good test for my boots and thermal clothing. The weather was fantastic - a great day to do lots of fluorescence measuring for Angelica and collect a few moss samples for identification back in the lab.
Each day we don't know what the weather brings or what the logistics allows us to do, so it is usually a mad rush when a chance arises to head out to a site; and Friday and Saturday were no different. On Saturday, we made the most of what turned out to be a good day and headed to Ardley Peninsula/Island. The island has a large penguin colony on it – hundreds of penguins and many fluffy babies – and a lot of moss! I helped the collective group (Angelica, Portland group and Gustavo's group) set up open-top-chambers over some of the moss carpets; the beginning of a 3-year study on the effects of warming temperatures on moss community structure, morphology and physiology.
Both days after Sharon and Andrew arrived we headed to a lush moss site adjacent to Collins Glacier - a 20 min zodiac ride away from Base Escudero. It was picturesque with extensive moss cushions spanning over different moisture environments. Sharon and I collected a few moss samples over this site for identification, analysis and experiments back in the lab (more later). We also helped set up some more chambers whilst being rewarded with a fantastic view. As the Portland group would say, it was 'mossome'!
Hannah and I at Collins Glacier Photo: Andrew Netherwood
The moss team setting up open-top-chambers at Collins Glacier