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Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 15, 2011

Yes, yes, I know Ive been out of touch, but traveling and walking all day + traveling really makes a girl not want to blog. I can honestly say Ive never slept more soundly in my life after a long day. So Im backed up on posts but here I go yet again trying to play catch up.

On Wednesday, June 15th, we woke up and had a really great breakfast at the hotel Mylemi. I can say that the breakfasts in both Turkey and Greece are probably my most favorite meal. It is simple, nutritious and so yummy. They usually serve a hard boiled egg, feta cheese, bread ( they love bread), strong coffee, cucumbers, tomatoes, yogurt (it is served all sorts of ways with every meal), and a fruit mix. It really gets you going in the morning! 
After breakfast we took a ride to the area where our field work would take place which was only a short drive to Kalloni Bay, known to be a place where the great Aristotle lived and worked on his studies. 
This day was more of a day to hunt down the flowering plants we were interesting in;  Yellow star-thistle (Centaurea soltitialis) and Vitex agnus-castus. Due to changing weather patterns this year in Greece which was cooler and rainier than usual, our experimental plants were not as abundant as they were in past years. This provided us with a small problem, but like any field study you have to adapt to changes in the environment. We did locate the plants in some areas but we decided to wait a couple days in order to see if more plants would flower. Transects (areas of research) were established for the following days of study, which was conducted on a farmers land.
Some of the day was dedicated to some of the students learning how to collect and preserve bees. Since I have had more experience in this I helped teach some of my fellow REU's on techniques to use in collection and I also pinned some bees in the back of the rental car, much different from mounting them in the lab. 

Later on we had dinner with Dr. Theodora Petanidou from the University of the Aegean in Lesvos. She teaches geography, pollination and plant ecology. Since much of the city was closed because of strikes due to the declining economy. On this day a huge riot broke out in Athens, but thankfully we were far from danger and didn't see anything out of usual other than businesses being closed. 
She called the owner of a restaurant in advance so he could open his doors to us. We had a great meal served in rounds of appetizers, salads, main dish and dessert we also had a local beverage called ouzo which tasted like licorice.. not my favorite but interesting! The following day: Research day #1!

 Kalloni Bay (Aristotle's Beach)

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