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August 24 – Skeleton Crew

Today when we arrived at the Hjelm house it was only 50 degrees! Brrrrrr! We were also down to a team of six following Ben’s last day on Friday and Stuart and Gretel heading back to Illinois over the weekend. (Abby was gone for her senior pictures). With so few people we got off to a quick start, because we knew we would need all the time we could get to get as much done with fewer crew members.

Our skeleton crew headed out to p2 to continue measuring that we started last Thursday. It was slow going but, having gotten through the thickest of the flowering plants on Thursday it was faster than it could have been. It is always windy at p2 since it is on top of a hill but today was especially windy and cold, most crew members could barely feel their hands which made entering data on the visor a challenge. We managed to get by, completing 20 rows before heading in for lunch.

After a warm up with some hot chocolate at lunch we headed out to do various things in the afternoon. Danny, Amy, Gina and I went to harvest heads in the remnants based on a sampling method that Danny and Amy developed. Ali and Katherine rechecked some funky measurements in p1 and harvested a few of the heads that will be used in the q3 experiment (exciting!). ¬†Amy and I went to a ton of different remnants and encountered a few problems, like at Stevens approach were most of the heads were mowed. The highlight of our afternoon was at Aanenson where we met a really friendly cow named Willow! she came up to the fence and let us pet her. Her not-so-outgoing friends were hesitant and we didn’t pet them. Willow even gave Amy’s hand a lick, “it felt really weird” said Amy shortly after the licking. Sadly we could not spend all afternoon with our new friend and went to continue harvesting.

Willow the cow investigates her new, soon-to-be friends, Will and Amy

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Willow’s friends investigate us from afar, clearly not as outgoing or cool as Willow.

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