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Full Phenology Fun!

One of my favorite activities last summer, while part of Team Echinacea 2015, was recording phenology data. We knew today was going to be the second time this week where complete phenology data would be taken for all remnant sites and experimental plots, so needless to say I was quite excited when I arrived this morning. After putting my lunch in the refrigerator, I sat at the long wooden table on the porch and looked over at the list of phenology routes. Soon teams were formed, routes decided, and after grabbing some tags, flags, and twist ties, we were on our various ways.

The list of sites to survey is extensive!

The list of sites to survey is extensive!

I drove with Alex and Amy down to East Riley, starting at the southmost remnant site in our route. After visiting a few sites we met up with Leah and Abby at Loeffler’s Corner. I noticed Loeffler’s Corner still had many buds which weren’t yet flagged. Then the five of us headed up to Landfill to make quick work of assessing flowering day for each of the heads currently shedding pollen.

One plant that could have easily been mistaken as "Rays up 1cm" already had one anther producing pollen!

One plant that could have easily been mistaken as “Rays up 1cm” already had one anther producing pollen!

 

Alex working at Riley!

Alex working at Riley with the morning sun behind him!

After lunch we had more phenology to do, and we realized that we needed to GPS the flowering plants at some more remnant sites. Experimental plot p2 still had many rows that needed to be searched for flowering plants and phenology, Alyson needed some supplies from Alexandria (for her independent project), and Alex needed to watch some of the pollinator visit videos that were recorded yesterday. We split into various teams and I ended up with James for the remainder of the afternoon. The two of us worked great together down at Loeffler’s Corner. We tried our best to find every remaining unflagged head and GPS each plant. By the end of the afternoon we were all hot and tired, but so excited about finishing the GPSing for all of Loeffler’s Corner! Back at the Hjelm house, everyone did their chores and wrapped up the long day.

While working at Loeffler's Corner, we saw four trains pass which meant a lot of loud talking while taking GPS points!

While working at Loeffler’s Corner, James and I saw (and heard) four trains pass by. Needless to say we were definitely repeating back tag numbers while taking GPS points!

For dinner, Alex made an amazing Ratatouille with summer vegetables and goat cheese.  Many of us ended the night with showers and ice cream- perfect after a long day of phenology fun!

 

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