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Rainy Friday and Phenology

The Andes crew made it to the Hjelm house by 8:30 this morning, and we were all dressed in our warmest field work clothes. We sat down at the picknic table and planned out our day, which (at the time) included measuring in p8, collecting phenology data at Staffanson and some other remnants, and discussing summer research projects. We decided to start our morning, we would break up into groups and while one group visited Staffanson and started marking the belt transect, the others would begin GPS-ing and identifying Echinacea in other remnants. That was our plan. As soon as we gathered our flags, pouches, visors, and GPS units, we felt some light sprinkling. We all looked at each other. Surely the light rain would stop soon. Ten minutes later, we were inside working on our individual research projects as we waited out the storm that proved to last longer than we expected.

Lea, Anna, Tracie, and Alex spent the rainy morning working on their individual research projects.

Within an hour, the bout of rain had passed, so we once again gathered our flags and other materials. Alex, Will, and Anna went off to Steven’s Approach and Town Hall to find flowering Echinacea and collect GPS points. Between the time they left and the time my team was out the door, it began to rain again, so we stayed inside and continued to work on my project. Thirty minutes later, Anna, Will, and Alex returned soaked from the rain. Like the troopers they are, they stuck out the rain out as long as possible before it became unreasonable for them and the equipment.

Over lunch, we talked about how cold we were, and as soon as we finished eating, we went inside and made hot tea. Then, Lea, Alex, and Will gave presentations about their summer research objectives. Lea wants to use a drone to assess floral resources, and Alex wants to replicate the yellow pan trap experiment of 2004 to find out whether there has been a change in pollinator diversity in the area. As a group, we discussed the possibility of them working together to collect data.

Finally, after lunch and our long discussions about summer research, we were able to collect data! I went with Alex, Anna, and Will to Steven’s Approach and Town Hall, but not long after we made it to the site, rain began to fall again.

Alex, Anna, and Will are sad after the rain starts again.

Nevertheless, after the rain ended, we were able to collect all the data we needed for the day. I even found an 8-headed Echinacea! Woohoo!

One of the many-headed Echinacea I found today. What a beauty!

We didn’t quite get to measuring in p8 today, nor did we get to Staffanson, but we will have time next week to complete our tasks.

That’s all for today,

Ashley

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