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And Then There Were Six

Today was another busy, productive day. Dayvis left for Chicago this morning bringing our number down to six. However, everyone still got a lot done.

In the morning, Lydia and Ilse continued their cross pollination adventures while Mike, Reina, and Pam finished using Helga, counted trichomes, and weighed and pressed leaves. Kory, Stuart, and I went to South of Golf Course and East Elk Lake Road to do seedling re-finds and learn how to use the GPS.

We all met up again for lunch, as usual. The table felt really empty today!

The afternoon was spent measuring the common garden (we’re close to being done). Stuart and I found a little fuzzy friend at row 23, position 912. It was super cute but we suspect it had been eating the E. angustifolia leaves.

Woolly Bear Caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella larval stage)
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In other news, grasshoppers seem to like eating data sheets
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That’s all for today!

Sarah B

Tuesday, August 6th

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Weather was as usual today, meaning erratic. In the morning, it rained really hard for about half an hour and then we were left with sunshine. In the afternoon, we started with sunshine and ended with rain! We still managed to get a lot done, though. Good job, team!

In the morning, people did data entry while it rained and then individual projects and common garden work when it cleared up. We all met up for lunch and then spent the afternoon measuring more plants in the common garden. The leopard frogs seemed to love the weather and were everywhere today. So cute!

In other news, Marie found a love for thistles and has proclaimed herself a “thistle whisperer.”
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We all went home early due to rain and a tornado warning (we’re all safe, thankfully). Lydia made a delicious dinner of black bean burgers and potatoes which was awesome!
Another good day, even with the crazy weather. Now, it’s time for bed. Goodnight!

Sarah B

Tuesday, August 30th

Today, we said hello once again to the muggy weather and clouds of mosquitoes. Phenology data was collected from the common garden in the morning. I collected my own flowering phenology data, too. Most of the plants in the remnants I’m using are finishing up flowering now!
After lunch, Reina and Mike counted trichomes while the rest of us measured plants in the common garden. The mosquitoes were out in droves and it was difficult to keep up morale. Thankfully, Marie and I found a little friend. We fondly named him/her Herb.
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Later on in the evening, the whole team went to where Pam is staying with Susan to eat dinner and hang out. It was a lovely time with delicious food and wonderful company. I know I’m not the only one who ate too much!
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Looking forward to a windier day tomorrow!

Sarah B

Hot and Humid

Today was yet another very productive day.
We started out the morning with flagging plants in common garden 2 at Hegg Lake. Working in pairs, we used giant meter tapes and worked hard to get the whole plot flagged before lunch. We also learned the best way to “reel in” the meter tapes – it looked a bit like a dance to me.
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As we walked back to the cars to head back for lunch, Stuart stopped to point out Heliopsis helianthoides, also known as false sunflower. This plant has composite flower heads, as does Echinacea angustifolia, so it was good to learn about the similarities in structure between the two such as ray flowers and bracts.
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Our afternoon was spent using PDAs (Visor) to input data about plants in the inbreeding gardens. We worked in groups of 2 again, along with Per and Hattie who helped us (they were awesome!). The weather turned hot and humid at this point but root beer floats were waiting for us when we finished! That was my personal highlight of the day. In the common garden, we saw some E. angustifolia due to flower quite soon. Exciting!
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After that, the team headed back to the old town hall to eat dinner (pasta with shrimp and artichokes) and then watch a movie (Donnie Darko). All in all, a pretty good day! 🙂

Sarah Baker

2012 Planned Common Garden Measuring Protocol

Here is the protocol that we plan to use for measuring in 2012:
2012.measureFieldProtocolPlan.htm

2011 Common Garden Measuring Protocol

Here’s a link to the protocol that we used for measuring CG1 in 2011:
2011.measureFieldProtocolReal.htm

In 2012 we plan to measure in “review mode” (as we did for CG2 in 2011) — all location records will be on the Visors with Status=”Staple” or “Skip” populated. We should not spend as much time searching for plants that have not been present for 3 or more years.This should speed up measuring. I’ll post the planned 2012 protocol next.

Common Garden Measuring Protocol 2010

Today we will start measuring Echinacea in the Common Garden. Here is the link to the protocol: CGmeasureprotocol2010.htm

Oh the things you will find … doing rechecks

I found a few things besides Echinacea plants, while searching for plants that may have died in the common garden. I found a fossil shell. I gave it to Per and he held on to it for a while but dropped it. Someone else will find it! I found a stylus (for a handspring visor). It’s probably Gretel’s; she lost hers earlier this year. I found a snake skin with an intact top of head–the eyes were transparent-cool! Per gave to Hattie, I think. I found a mouse in a mouse nest (right on top of dead Echinacea leaves from last year). The mouse bounded away. Also, Ruth called while I was searching to say that she had just found the serial cord for the survey station data collector that we couldn’t find–we had been looking for that for a few days. Wahoo! Finally, I emptied my pockets of litter that I had picked up: three pieces of flagging, one melted plastic plug label, and 2 blue plastic cocktail stirrers.

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Stuff from Stuart’s pocket: stylus (1), flagging bits (3),
melted plastic plug label (1), blue plastic cocktail stirrers (2)

We are making great progress on annual measurements of plant in the common garden. On Monday we finished measuring all plants (~10000). On Tuesday we finished placing staples at all locations where plants died overwinter in 2007-2008 (>700). Today we made a huge dent in “rechecks.”

Rechecking is when we revisit all the locations where we recorded a “can’t find” and left a flag while measuring. We placed about 1500 flags. About 700 of those “can’t finds” were stapled this year. So, we just verified that staples were in the correct locations and pulled flags. Some locations had staples from previous years that a measurer didn’t find. We pulled flags there too. Then there were the plants that were alive last year. We rechecked those and found quite a few plants. Each time someone found one, they yelled “wahoo” and the rest of us responded with a whoop and a holler.

Shucks, it was fun!! Actually I was burned out by the end. Next year we should plan two 2h sessions instead of one 4h session.

Common Garden Measuring 2009

Yesterday we finished measuring in the Common Garden! Here are some details about the protocol used for 2009:

Gardens: Inbreeding & INB2 we used the same form as in 2008. Basal and Flowering Rosettes were counted separately. Crisp leaves were included in the leaf counts.

Gardens: 2001, Monica’s, SPP, Big Batch, and 96-99 we used an abbreviated form. We did not record data on insect damage. Insects on all rosettes (basal and flowering) were recorded on the main form. Insects on the heads were recorded on the subform. Cauline leaves were not counted. The longest cauline leaf (longest leaf on the tallest flowering rosette) was recorded on the main form. For basal leaves, crisp leaves were included in leaf counts and also noted, as were leaves that were “gone.” Pips or duds with no florets were only recorded if there was a peduncle long enough for a twist-tie collar.

Plan for the week

This week we are going to make big dents in CG measurements and our independent projects. We will measure the CG MWF morning and TTH afternoon. We’ll start T & Th morning with Phenology assessments and end off each morning with time to work on independent projects. Afternoons on MWF will be devoted to independent projects.

Be ready 8:30 Monday morning–with sunscreen on & visors synced–for a pep talk (it’ll be about efficiency & the well-oiled machine)!

day        AM                PM
Monday     measure CG        ind. proj.
Tuesday    phenology & i.p.  measure CG
Wednesday  measure CG        ind. proj.
Thursday   phenology & i.p.  measure CG
Friday     measure CG        ind. proj.
Saturday   phenology & off   off