Part of my job is to do quarterly surveys of 450 seaweed plots, from the Boston area up to Northern Maine. The fall survey has taken a long time, because my usual grad student helpers have been very busy with other things, like TA'ing, studying, and working on their own labor intensive projects. As it gets later in the season it gets harder and harder to work, with shorter day lengths less likely to coincide with the low tides we need for the seaweed plots to be exposed. By some miracle, though, the cold of winter has been holding off. Last week near Pemaquid, Maine, we saw a wild rose still with green leaves and a bloom.
There are only 50 more plots to survey, but they're all on a very low-lying ledge at our Northermost site in Lubec, Maine, and it looks like the only tide that will be low enough for us to get to them will be on Christmas. Fortunately, I'm not very religious, my folks are amenable to a rescheduled holiday, and we have a Jewish lab technician who may be able to help. It will be a weird Christmas.