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Wacky Wednesday (feat. Alpha Mike and Romeo Tango)

Greetings, flog friends!

Today was a wild ride, to say the least. Our morning started off with an intense thunderstorm. Some Team Echinacea members reported strong thunder as early as 2 AM, which persisted into the early morning. Although it left the remnants wet and muddy, we were lucky to start at our usual time.

I spent the majority of the day working with Riley T. as we conquered the phenology route we affectionately call “Choo-Choo Corner.” This path inculdes remnants such as Loefflers’ Corner and Railroad Crossing. Thankfully, Stuart was there to take care of Yellow Orchid Hill and North Railroad Crossing.

Some happy Echinacea are thriving in their flowering state at Loeffler’s Corner West!

While at Loeffler’s Corner, Riley had a strange encounter with a baby deer. The surprise was well justified, as the fawn was alone and near a highway. Unfortunately, the deer left before Riley could take a picture, but he reports the experience as “shocking” and “unusual”.

We ended the morning with some flowers in our on-site experimental plot, “P8.” After a much needed lunch, we returned to the site to conduct measuring. If you’re a seasoned flog-reader, you’ll know that measuring is the process we use to assess the Echinacea planted in our experimental plots. By measuring, we’re able to keep track of plants that survived, were lost, and their physical fitness over time. P8, one of our largest plots, is notorious for its heat and humidity. However, we persisted, and made great progress!

Half-way through our P8 excursion, Riley and I had another wacky experience. One of the rows we were assigned to measure had a constant rate of lost plants and toothpicks, our universal seed-identifying material. During burns and harsh winters, toothpicks (and often plants) tend to go missing. However, row 169 was unusually bare. This is when we realized we had made a dire mistake.

To our demise, we discovered that the unusual row was mislabeled. Because of this, we had compared visor records to a completely irrelevant row. Although it was somewhat disappointing, we were glad to know that our mortality rate was much lower than we thought. It was also a good experience that taught me it’s okay to make mistakes, and that we must learn in order to improve. Even with our minor setback, it was an extremely successful day for the team, and a great kick-off to our P8 studies!

We concluded the afternoon with some Wednesday Watermelon, and a rhine-throwing contest. Watermelon is a team-favorite treat on hot days!

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our “Wacky Wednesday” as much as we did. It’s always great to have a little excitement at work, and a bit of “phun” with phenology!

Until next time,

Anna (Meehan)

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