All of a sudden, it was summer in Belgium. After the horrible cold and boring rains of the beginning of last week, the last days gave us steel-blue skies with for now the brightest sun of the year. Ideal circumstances to spend the day in the field!
I spent a whole day measuring light availability and surface temperature in the field, two factors with major importance for my plants. On a bright summer day like this, the differences are huge. Temperatures range from 15 °C in the shadows of the vegetation to a murdering 45 °C on the dry sand of my disturbed plots, all due to almost hundred-fold changes in light.
I could feel the sun beating on my own head, too. I had to be careful that I would not dehydrate myself, like the soil in the gaps, and every few hours I took a small break to cool down in the shadow and admire the little foal in its bright yellow buttercup field.
All is now in place to start an amazing field season. If everything goes as planned, I will end the summer with data for two papers and installed experiments for at least three more. And that is only the beginning!