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Day 3

Today was the third day in the field for Team Echinacea 2017. We all started out in P1, where we split up and did various tasks. Alex and Ashley took on the riskiest task and weeded some invasive bird’s foot trefoil around the plot that was among some poison ivy. Will, Lea, Wes, and I got the 10-meter signs and flag markers up and organized. Stuart and Anna started taking on the invasive hawkweed that has been getting into the plot and spreading, and eventually all of us were wrestling with it. The hawkweed has some incredible rhizomes that spread around to nets and nets of rosettes. Will and I found an estimated 45% hawkweed cover in one part of the plot. Here are some of the comments you might have heard from all of us while trying to get these out of the ground:

“Anytime you think you’ve found them all, you haven’t.”

“You will be champion of the longest rhizome!”

“I think I am becoming allergic to hawkweed.”

Weeding was fun, but I think we were all ready for lunch when it came around. At lunch we talked about doing a yellow pan trap experiment this year to catch and identify bees and see how their abundance and diversity relates to surrounding vegetation. Lea also gave an intro to her experiment for the summer, and we talked about potential REU projects.

After lunch we headed over to P8 and started learning how to collect data on the Echinacea growing there. Returners helped the newcomers start to get a hang of navigating the plot site, collecting data on visors, and finding and measuring Echinacea. We finished the day with a watermelon on the porch.

It was a great week. I’m excited for more.

Tracie

Lea, Gretel, and Ashley in P8.

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