She is here! Lorien Elizabeth Schulte entered the outside world at 4:43pm on August 21 2006. At birth she was 20 inches long and weighed 9lbs 3oz! Our family is all doing quite well following the delivery. Shevaun labored for 14 and 1/2 hours after her water broke at 2:15am. The labor was very intense as she did not use any pain medication except for a small dose of Stadol (Demerol-like drug) which only lasted for about an hour. Shevaun was incredible during the labor and delivery, especially during the four hours that the process stalled and she had to resist pushing through the contractions! Lorien was very vocal upon her entrance to the world and quickly started breastfeeding, which was a relief. At the moment she is swaddled up and sound asleep. She is always this easy to take care of, right? :)
Check Lorien's page for more pictures
Well Lorien is still taking her time today. Apparently she is pretty comfortable hanging out inside In the meantime, check out our webcam. Now with live streaming!
Well, Shiloh's summer field work for 2006 is just about over and Shevaun starts her maternity leave on Friday. We are as ready as we can be for Lorien's arrival whenever she decides to make a move. We are also very pleased that the extended heatwave is finally backing off. It dropped below 80 last night and the high temp today is not supposed to be over 90! It is sad that those temps seem reasonable.
The field season went well this year, despite numerous attempts by the universe to try to kill me. Each of these events showed evidence of good luck or bad luck, depending on how you look at it. In chronological order:
May 14: - My appendix inflamed and I had to have emergency surgery at 4 am, but I was at home, 5 minutes from the hospital instead of on the island when it happened
May 28: - A moose ran out in front of me while driving my father-in-law's car, but I didn't actually hit the moose, although at was way too close for comfort
June 26: - A major car crash occured in front of me on the way to my field site. A car went spinning by me scattering debris everywhere after crashing into an 18-wheeler. One person was severely injured and had to be airlifted out. On the plus side, my car sustained only minor scratches and I was fine.
July 27: - I found a black widow spider in the canoe we were about to get into. We removed the spider and web and proceeded on. On the return crossing the wind picked up and we rolled the canoe, dumping my binoculars to the bottom of the channel. We made our way to a sandbar and emptied the canoe. Shortly after getting in the canoe again we found another black widow spider that somehow survived the experience. On the plus side, No one got bitten.
Obviously we don't update this page very often. It is either because we are too busy or too lazy. It is not clear. We are both very happy about how the pregnancy is going. Lorien is now able to kick pretty hard, which can get uncomfortable, but indicates a strong healthy baby. Shevaun is really looking forward to 3 months of maternity leave, while Shiloh is in the middle of his field season and is running all over the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Updated ultrasound pictures (from 3/9/2006) and a few pictures from Shiloh's research this summer are posted below.
Happy New Year! Our year is shaping up to be very eventful. The most exciting event, of course, will be the birth of our first baby in mid August! Shevaun had her first ultrasound on January 11th and we were very happy (and relieved) to hear a healthy heartbeat and see our baby move. Check out the photos and pregnancy counter below!
July 25 2004
Well, the field season is winding down. Most of the Oystercatcher chicks are flying around now and my banding work this summer is almost over. This winter we are going to try to find all of the banded birds on their wintering grounds along the Southeast coast.
My recent trip to New England was great, though it did make me miss the northeast more than ever. My blood is still too thick for six consecutive days of 96+ degrees, so the 60s and 70s of Vermont were quite welcome!
Nothing too exciting has happened since the June 1 expedition, though I suppose perspectives may differ. I did have to swim 400+ feet after a particularly ambitious Oystercatcher chick that decided to strike out for the high seas. The chick panicked because I was too close and raced into the water. This is a common escape response and normally I would have just backed off and let the parents call the chick back to shore. In this case, I knew the chick was swimming into an area with a current that might prevent the chick from making it back. Fortunately I was able to catch up to the bird before it got far enough out to be in the boat channel!
Oh yeah, there was also this storm I encountered the other day... In mid-summer the sand on the beaches of the Outer Banks reaches egg-frying temperatures by late afternoon. Humans and birds alike retreat to the edge of the water or to any available shade. Crouched in a small patch of shade on the east side of a high dune I was watching a family of Oystercatchers feeding their chicks when I heard a rumble off to the west. As there was not a cloud in the sky that I could see, I thought it was the jets from nearby Seymour Johnson Air Force Base that regularly buzz the beaches. After a few more rumbles I stood up and turned to see a wall of black cloud advancing over the sound. Although the bulk of the storm was to the north, the cloud wall was expanding rapidly with lightning striking ahead of the storm. With no cover available anywhere nearby, I decided to try to get out from under the edge of the storm. Jumping on the ATV I sped south along the beach, keeping one eye to the West. Within moments a funnel dipped out of the clouds and touched down out in the sound. Although fairly small by Kansas standards, the tornado/waterspout was still large enough to cause some damage if it hit the wrong place. With no other good options, I just continued south. Fortunately the storm continued to turn north and a few minutes later I was back in sunshine. Certainly not a dull afternoon...
June 1 2004
Hey everyone, here is an update of what has been going on down here (so you don't all forget about us). I went out to Cape Lookout this weekend intending to spend my weekend sitting on the beach reading a book, and maybe helping Shiloh trap some birds. The trip down took a bit longer than expected due to a tanker crash and fire on rt. 95 (traffic was being re-routed to 40 which I was on), and inncorrect directions from Shiloh, who had me looking for rt 64 instead of 24. Our ferry ride to the island was also delayed by about 40 mins because of some people who got there late and took forever packing all their stuff in trailers to be hauled by their atv's. It also took one guy about ten minutes to back his atv and trailer onto the ferry (he only managed to do it because the ferry operator came over and told him how to do it). Finally we reached the island. The guy with the atv who took forever to get on the ferry took almost as long to get out of the ferry area on the island. His atv and trailer promptly sank in the sand and had to be towed by a truck. This worked fine for about two hundred feet where he once again became stuck, with the truck trying to haul him. Finally they put another atv behind his and pushed/hauled along with the truck. It was all very amusing to see, especially since he got stuck right in the middle of the "road" leading from the ferry and traffic was stopped in both directions.
Finding a camping spot and setting up didn't take too long, and went off without any hitches. After we finished that we went off to try and catch a bird. We managed to catch a female and band her, she is now Green 18. Nothing else exciting happened that day, except that I managed to get a spectacular sunburn down the entire length of my back which would be painful for the next few days (last night being the first day I could actually sleep on back). It is now going through the uncomfortable itchy phase and is driving me insane. Bree, I can almost sympathize with you now. Sunday dawned cool and overcast. We waded across a good sized channel to get over to another island. Shiloh looked for birds, I looked for shells. We actually saw people driving around on their atv's to collect shells. I'm not kidding, they would stop by the shell and reach down to pick it up, they didn't even bother getting of the atv. They did this on the beach, and back behind the dunes, where little birds live. Shiloh told them they shoudln't drive behind the dunes with atvs, and they sat there and told him they knew and hadn't done that. I think flaming idiots describes them. Everything else was going great until we were about a mile down the beach and noticed some suspicious looking storm clouds heading our direction. Thinking they might be thunderheads, I headed back down the beach while Shiloh continued on to find a few more birds Our thinking was that Shiloh walks faster than I do and he would eventualy catch back up with me. I made it back down the beach in 20 mins, and ended up sitting in the rain for an hour while I waited for Shiloh. Then it was a nice cold wade back across the channel, in the rain. Now what would any trip to the ocean with Shiloh be without some sort of dangerous channel crossing (refering back also to the sea kyaking trip in Canada)? By the time we made it to the channel the tide was on its way out, and had a nice strong current. We had to try a few times before finiding a place we could actually cross. But we made it. By this point I wanted off the island. I was cold, wet, hungry, and there is no escaping being completely covered in sand out there. Plus, Shiloh hadn't thought to put the rain fly on his tent, so we were greeted by a nice big puddle of water in the tent. Now I really wanted to go home. However, the next ferry did not leave for two hours, which meant sitting in the rain. Then Shiloh told me we could stay up on the North end at the house used by the maintenance crew during the week. When we got up there (About a 45 min drive) I discovered they had satelite Tv, leather couches and chairs, a working kitchen, and A SHOWER! I was a much happier person suddenly. There was another person staying at the house over the weekend, and he had two friends up for the night (not a problem, there were more than enough beds). For dinner they prepared corn on the cob, vegetables, rice, and blue crabs caught fresh that day from the dock, and told us to help ourselves. It was much nicer than sleeping in a wet tent cover in sand eating pb and j. The next day we headed back down the island to pack up the tent and head to the ferry. The wind was blowing pretty hard that day and when we got back to the tent we discovered that it was not there. The wind had picked it up and carried it away. Luckily it didn't get very far, and we found it about 200 feet away behind a dune. The tent had managed to catch and drag two of Shiloh's traps in its flight. We had to hurry to pack it up. This time we were the ones who held up the ferry (but only by a few minutes)! At last we were off the island. I headed home and Shiloh headed north. I was toting the camera around for most of the weekend, so hopefully I will have a few good pictures, which I will send up north to all the parents (And pictures of the baby oystercatchers and baby turns to Sabrina). That's it, finally. Hope everyone is doing well.