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things are about to get busy

On Saturday morning, Amy and I each visited a handful of remnants to check on Echinacea flowering status. Amy found a few “rays spreading” plants but none shedding pollen. I found 7 heads shedding pollen (2 heads at eri, 3 heads at ri, 1 head at lc, and 1 head at ness). A couple heads were on their second day of flowering making June 18 the first day of flowering in our study sites. Notably, several big bluestem have started bolting including one at ri with a culm taller than my waist. Oofta.

Over the past few days, I also spent some time searching for wood lilies (Lilium philadelphicum), also known as prairie lilies or western red lilies. When flowering, these jaw-dropping beauties are hard to miss! The vivid red-orange tepals stand out, bright flames flickering amidst a drab sea of greens and browns. I am conducting a preliminary study of lily reproduction this summer in hopes of examining how these charismatic wildflowers respond to fire. We are still early, most lily buds remain tight and green, but I have developed an eye for the buds. My plan is to visit a number of sites next week. I might be slightly obsessed with lilies…

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