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Phenology and Projects!

Our day began a little damp due to some rain that had passed through the following night. However, we made the most of the time and situation and started our day by making aluminum tags for flowering echinacea plants. After this, we ventured out into p1 to battle with more invasive weeds. This time our opponent was the anything-but-sweet, sweet clover. Luckily, it came out much easier compared to the hawkweed.

After we did some sufficient weeding, we moved on to tagging and recording of near flowering echinacea plants at Stevenson’s Approach. Each purple coneflower with a bud was marked with a flag, colored twist tie, and aluminum tag.  There were multiple plants near flowering, but the big highlight was one with at least seven heads!

At lunch we listened to project ideas from Wes and Anna, and Ashley. Wes and Anna are looking into a project that would involve taking a vegetative analysis of  Hegg Lake and some smaller remnants. After creating some sort of species list, they would look into some differences and possibly good areas to collect seed.  Ashley is looking into creating an experiment that would test how style emergence and persistence impacts the seed quality of echinacea. Everyone took part in discussions about how each project could be improved or advice on different methods to carry out research.

By the afternoon, the sun was out and we headed to P8 to continue measuring plants in the q2 and q3 experiment. While measuring we came across a flowering smooth aster. They usually don’t flower until later in the summer, so this was a strange and fascinating surprise!

Hopefully some echinacea will be flowering soon!

(From top left clockwise) Making tags, an echinacea with present rays, tags, the early smooth aster, and recording at Stevenson’s.

 

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