This morning I packed my Tansy plants in a rental trailer, loaded up the Nugg with food, clothes and family, and drove off to Jena. As the rental trailer limited our speed to 80 kmh, we took about four and a half hours to reach or destination – The Jena Experiment – where our new ‘Tansy Chemodiversity’ field experiment will be set up.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed by my colleague Nafiseh, and my boss Wolfgang and his family, who were preparing a barbecue. Not much after, we were joined by Lina (the PhD candidate that’ll work on this field experiment) and Laura (another PhD candidate from Freising, who also works in the Jena Experiment). So many people. I didn’t really expect the welcome party. Most of the people were vaccinated, and although we were out in the open and kept our distance, it felt strange to be together with quite a few colleagues. Strange but good. (Unlike the weather forecast had predicted, the weather was great, by the way)
I have been to Jena once before, for an insect sampling campaign in a local field experiment. (Not the main experiment, I have thus far only looked at that one, which already is nice.) I never got around to do anything with the samples we collected, but I had a good couple of days with one of my former colleagues, and we had good fun. Somehow fate would have it that now, four years later and in a new job, our new field experiment will be located exactly on the spot where this previous experiment took place. So, give or take ten metres, I am now camping exactly in the same spot where we used to be four years ago. It brings back good memories.
Tomorrow we will start our planting campaign. We are all here, the plants are here. We’d need some seriously bad stuff to stop us now…