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Funology, goats, and measuring, OH MY!

Today was a big day for Team Echinacea, many things were accomplished all around. It started with funology at P2 with some harvesting. An ever-increasing number of heads are done flowering and ready to harvest. Which makes the already enjoyable task of phenology, suitable of the name funology! After returning to Hjelm the team dispersed into a brief session of task forces before returning to team work of goat moving! There are 4 goats that live in pastures around Hjelm, they are used to control the invasive buckthorn. The four goats are named Style, Scape, No S, and The Kid. Goat moving was an exciting change of pace for the team, none of our study organisms require herding or coaxing. The first step when moving the goats was to disassemble the electric fence and reassemble it around the new pasture. While the assembling was being assembled Andy and I were tasked with watching the goats in their old pasture and moving them towards the new pasture. This worked out surprisingly well, by the time the goats arrived at the new pasture the fence was near completion and no goats went on adventures too far from the path.

Andy carefully watching over the goats while they munch on some near by trees.

Whoops lost half a goat during the transfer!

Happy goats surrounded by their one love. Buckthorn.

After the goat moving extravaganza we broke for lunch, today’s strange lunch conversation included how much Kristen would need to pay Evan for him to eat a large inch worm that was found on Andy’s shirt. Once this debate had been exhausted the team got back to checking things off the to-do list. Kristen, Evan, John, and Andy moved emergence traps and put out pan traps. A good chunk of P1 measuring was also completed, we finished the remaining sections of the inbreeding garden, then we started and completed the 99 garden. The plants in the 99 garden are significantly closer together which makes this a difficult task but when the team sets its mind on something it seems like we can complete almost anything! There is quite a large population of Big Blue Stem that calls P1 home, while it makes for quite a nice prairie community it is not so nice for us researches that attempt to navigate the plot. At this point in the season, the grass is over all of our heads which makes measuring plants that are ~30cm off the ground somewhat challenging.

Do you see Michael? It’s hard to spot him through all the Big Blue Stem!

After work today Riley made a tuna pasta salad which was delicious. Then the “Roosters” were joined by Kristen for a showing of an episode of the bachelorette. Yet another fun filled productive day seems to have passed for team Echinacea!

Until next time flog,

Mia

P.S. Last time I posted I talked about my personal project as an update on Friday I did my 60th and last hand cross! So now on to pollen counting!

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