Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fields of Soy

My brother Alex has spent his summer working at the University of Illinois. He got a position working in the Horticulture Department. His job mostly entails working the experimental corn and soy fields, but occasionally consists of lab work (on the rainy days). This is a lab that creates strains of corn and soy that are disease resistant or more resilient to droughts, etc.

Yesterday, Alex sent me this photo - the subject: The dangers of soyface.

After a little research, Rachel and I found this to be a Yellow Garden Spider. While it may be harmless to humans, it is capable of catching small birds in it's web.

I am not okay with the existance of this creature.

My response to his text:
  1. Ahhhhhh!
  2. What's soyface?
  3. What's the blue string hanging below the spider?

Turns out, soyface is the name of the fields he works at. It stands for Soybean Free Air Concentrated Exchange. The blue string is a part of her web. In reality, the "string" is not blue, it is white. That blue is just because it's a cell phone photo.

::Shaking off heebie jeebies::

Alex' move in date at the dorms is on the 18th of August. One week from today. He's rooming with a friend from high school, who just happens to be the valedictorian. Ha! It will be the dorkiest room on their floor and that makes me ecstatic. It will probably also be the most in-shape room, since they are both runners.

My dad's wondering if Alex will lean more towards the frat-boy persona (he is already looking into joining one of two fraternities), or if he'll be the college student who spends all his time running with the high school track and cross country teams. Only time will tell.

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