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The grass of the day is…

Sporobolus heterolepis, or prairie dropseed. I included some Sporobolus seedheads in my independent project sampling this morning at Staffanson, and I appreciated seeing a grass that I hadn’t much since last summer. Last summer I learned that S. heterolepis provides good habitat for the endangered Dakota Skipper butterfly, along with other mid-height grasses like Schizachyrium scoparium (heart eyes). It grows in bunches, has many long, thin leaves, and has nice airy seedheads. I’m glad I got to reacquaint myself with an old friend on the prairie! Staffanson is always good for that, and for introducing me to new ones.

I was having some GPS troubles yesterday and this morning, but it turns out it was operator error (to borrow a phrase from my high school ski coach), and I owe it to Lea for helping me figure out what I was doing wrong. Now that I know I need to make sure the GPS is set up to read Ax and Ly coordinates in the same order as they’re set up in my stake file, I don’t think I’ll make that mistake again. Frustrating but a lesson learned and I’m glad there are people willing to help.

After a good morning working on my project, I hung out with John in P1 to harvest some more heads. We had a good time I thought, and we saw a pretty wild looking bug that I did not recognize!! Since I’m not taking an entomology class this fall I don’t know if I ever will…this is going to bother me, I can tell. The tall Sorghastrum nutans grass in P1 was swaying in the wind, creating an effect similar to seasickness as I walked through it. P1 harvest round 2 is almost done, but I couldn’t help thinking about Mia taking it on again next week, possibly solo…

All in all it was a pretty good Monday; it was nice that Stuart was back and shout out to Anna M. for passing her drivers test today!

Monarch on a Liatris aspera (rough blazing star) at RKW, a small site near Kensington that I did demo at on Friday! Getting to the site involved threading the needle between a pond and a patch of trees but it was worth it for all the cool things I saw back there (including the biggest patch of Schiz I’ve ever seen!).
Made me think of the Grass Sea the Dothraki ride in from Game of Thrones 🙂
The view from Yellow Orchid Hill on Friday––how about that red hill of Sorgh!
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