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Rare and Precious Drill-bits

The seasons have finally begun to shift here at the Garden with the last heat waves of summer breaking onto crisp October shores. Friday morning, I continued my working weighing biomass, adding 88 new samples to the data set. There are still many samples to be weighed but I believe I have now passed the halfway point.

Friday morning’s samples weighed and entered

In the afternoon I returned to counting seeds. Stuart explained that the seeds I was counting were no ordinary seeds, but in fact ones that were very rare and difficult to collect, and that my counts would play a pivotal role in determining whether they were to be preserved or propagated. I felt proud that I was contributing to prairie conservation in such a direct and meaningful way. It was also fascinating to see firsthand the multitude of designs and strategies plants have for seed dispersal!

Hesperostipa spartea seeds (the spiral ends twist at different rates depending on humidity)
Hesperostipa spartea seeds + hand for scale
Looks can be deceiving, there are close to 880
Carex seeds in this small pile!
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