Over the 4th of July weekend, many students dispersed across the Northeast to entertain themselves for the three day break. Several students took advantage of the long weekend to visit friends and family in Washington, DC, New York, and Boston. Those who stayed at Harvard Forest found many ways to enjoy the beautiful, warm weather. One group went rock climbing at a gym in Worcester; another went Contra Dancing in Greenfield, and almost everyone went to the nearby Queen Lake to cool off with a swim in the clear, clean water. One night, several folks barbequed bratwurst, corn-on-the-cob, and pineapple, and the next night, one student cooked tacos for everyone! One group of students was treated to a close encounter with a bear when she meandered across the cow pasture in front of Fisher House. Apparently, a bear was also seen on the 4th of July last summer; this year, the students decided to name her “Freedom”. All in all, the REU group took great advantage of the wonderful weather, restful mornings, and free time to explore the region.
"There was a lot of fun to be had on the 4th of July weekend, including rock climbing, contra dancing, and tacos. I even got to spend some time with Joe and Maddy during their brief return visit. [Joe and Maddy are two REU students spending six weeks collecting data in New Hampshire and Maine]. Even though I didn't go see any fireworks, I didn't feel like I missed anything. I wish I could have more weekends like this." – Andrea Garcia
"This last weekend I headed home for a wedding and then on Sunday and Monday, Meredith, Carlyn, and Erik came up to my lake cabin [in Maine]. We relaxed in the sun, went fishing, tubing, and skiing, and had a bonfire. It was a great time; the night of the 4th, there were fireworks going off all over the lake." – Angie Marshall
"Over the Fourth of July weekend, I went to hang out at Queen Lake, just a few miles from Harvard Forest, for the first time and it was amazing. The beach was clean; the water was clear, and the water-temp to air-temp ratio was perfect. Swimming out to the blueberry island was definitely a fun, appetite-inducing challenge. I also hiked out to the fire tower to watch the sunset on a clear day. It was breathtaking. And the hike back was beautiful between the dusk and fireflies. And the blueberries in the clear cut were definitely a major plus!" – Morgan Vigil