Triaxial sonic anemometer velocity and temperature measurements were used to investigate the local structure of the velocity and temperature fluctuations in the unstable atmospheric surface layer above a grass-covered forest clearing. Despite the existence of a 2/3 power law in the longitudinal velocity (2 decades) and temperature (1 decade) structure functions, local isotropy within the inertial subrange was not attained by the temperature field, although a near-isotropic state was attained by the velocity field. It was found that sources of anisotropy were due to interactions between the large-scale and small-scale eddy motion, and due to local velocity-thermal interactions. Statistical measures were developed and used to quantify these types of interactions. Other types of interactions were also measured but were less significant. The temperature gradient skewness was measured and found to be non-zero in agreement with other laboratory flow types for inertial subrange scales. Despite these interactions and anisotropy sources in the local temperature field, Obukhov's 1949 hypothesis for the mixed velocity-temperature structure functions was found to be valid. Finally, our measurements show that while a 2/3 power-law in the longitudinal velocity structure function developed at scales comparable to five times the height from the ground surface (z), near-isotropic conditions were achieved at scales smaller than z/2.