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Another productive day in the field for Team Echinacea!

Tuesday’s morning started out similar to the past few mornings. The team worked on finding Echinacea seedlings and measuring them in the Quantitative Genetics plot 2 (a.k.a. Q2). We were a little worried that we would be rained out, but the gloomy, foggy weather quickly passed and the sun emerged to make for a beautiful day. The team split into pairs and measured multiple segments of seedlings. During this time, two members of the team, Jared Beck and Will Reed, discovered a rare Echinacea seedling with 3 cotyledons, also known as a tricot.

For the afternoon portion of Tuesday’s workday, we were introduced to Common Garden 1 (a.k.a. Experimental Plot 1), a site that has lead to numerous important findings concerning the biology of Echinacea. Some of these plants were planted as early as 1996! (fun fact: some of these plants may be as old as our youngest team member, Will Reed) The majority of the team spent the afternoon flagging a plethora of Echinacea plants, or points where Echinacea had once thrived but now cease to exist (may those plants now rest in peace). While we worked on flagging, Stuart was hard at work mowing in between the transects, creating an easily visible and safe walkway. Personally, I had the pleasure of working with Stuart and Gretel’s son Per. There was never a dull moment as we discussed funny pranks, the joys of having uncommon names, and the mystery/absurdity that is art. During this time, Per managed to concoct a ninja/airplane/bird out of old, flag-less pins (we couldn’t decide which one it was). All in all, it was a very productive, pleasant day in the field for Team Echinacea.

A picture of the electric tower near Q2 which illustrates the gloomy start to our day.

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Here you can see the tricot discovered by Will and Jared.

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The team hard at work in Experimental Plot 1

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Finally, an interesting spider that Per and I found later identified as a Goldenrod Crab Spider

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