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Phirst Phenology Phriday!

Today was our first chance to use our newly gained phenology skills in the field. In the morning, we split up into pairs and worked together, visiting several sites and making records for any plants that are already flowering, maybe about 10% of the echinacea at this point.

I was paired up with John, which meant riding in his jeep, the famed “Bombus-mobile.” Even though there weren’t too many flowering plants yet, we were able to spend all morning on phenology, taking on a couple extra sites when we finished the ones we’d been assigned.

After lunch, there were a couple of tasks that needed getting done. I headed out with a group to finish flagging p2, while others went to weed wild parsnip at Loeffler’s Corner; that stuff can give you a nasty rash! This time at p2, we used very long measuring tapes (50m) to ensure accuracy. We had saved the toughest part for last, a dead zone with nary a plant to base our measurements off of, so it was important to use a tape that could span the whole plot. The plan was a success, and we finished with time to spare!

After wrapping up p2, I headed out with Mia to search for stipa (porcupine grass) in the remnants around random points we had placed flags at earlier in the season. Any time a stipa plant was growing within a meter of a point we were looking at, we would gather data on a number of the plant’s features before collecting the fruits. This took us until the end of the day (a little afterwards, in fact; we ended up having to deal with a relatively large plant).

And last but not least, today’s butterfly!

Hoorah!

Wyatt

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