Summer on a Shoestring

Hubbard Brook
July 23, 2014, 6:52 pm
Filed under: HB Meetings, Hubbard Brook Meetings

Stephanie Suttenberg: REU ESF

This week the whole crew drove out to Hubbard Brook for the 51st annual Hubbard Brook Cooperators’ Meeting; we arrived the day before the meeting so we could set up tents, practice and make any final adjustments to our presentations.  We brought the 3 bedroom vacation home tent which was everything I didn’t even know I wanted in a tent. It was beautiful (with some minor McGayverying done by Adam to fix a broken piece) and dwarfed all the other tents surrounding it. Truly majestic. Sadly, no such pictures of it exist because a mere few hours after it was put up, it was violently torn down by a huge thunderstorm. Several other smaller, more practical tents were set up that people actually slept in. I’m not sure the 4 or so of us sleeping on the couches and floor was appreciated by the people living there.

The actually meeting was the next morning, and following the shoestring tradition, we were up to present first.  Adam and Lisa went first and gave an overview of the MELNHE project as well as an update on Project Sweeter Sap. Eli presented his findings on tree growth, I presented on my snail population findings, Sophie on sap flow and Justin on soil moisture. It was a relief to finally be freed of the weight of the presentations on our shoulders. With our talks done, we settled in to listen to the rest of the presentations. There were occasional – and much needed –stretch breaks and a lunch break throughout the day.

Dinner was served in the barn that evening, and following it was the annual barn dance. It’s a Hubbard Brook tradition to have a dance in the barn following the first day of presentations.  Luckily, no previous dancing experience was needed; the band would call out what we needed to do as the song progressed. It was a very sweaty but very enjoyable experience.


Before the dance was over, and while it was still light out, Sophie, Eli, Justin, Hannah and I walked over to the actually Hubbard Brook. We went rock hopping and tried to get to the other side of the brook with some success. Eli, Justin and Sophie made it over, but Hannah and I tried taking a different path that didn’t work at all. No one fell in the water and a good time was had by all.


The second day of presentations was similar to the first, but only half a day long. The final presentation that wrapped everything up was done by Don Buso; he gave everyone some parting words on Hubbard Brook, advice for the future and some funny stories about past work and events.

The picnic followed the second day’s presentations, the undergrads went out to buy everything we needed at the grocery store, while everyone else attended a Shoestring meeting. The BBQs were set up by the lake, and after a bit of a struggle, grilling began. There were burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, chips, hummus, and cookies. It was a pretty impressive spread of food. It was a great BBQ; tons of food, lots of people and a lake a mere 20 feet away to go swimming in.


When we got in the car to drive back to Bartlett, someone spotted a fox in the distance. Justin got out of the car and tried to befriend the fox. I snapped the picture, and shortly after the fox ran back into the woods. It made for a very memorable end to a very interesting trip.


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