Phenology, Phones, and Pollen

It’s phenology Wednesday, and you know what that means! Team Echinacea headed out to our experimental and remnant sites to assess Echinacea phenology. Will and I took the Around Land Fill Loop, while the other teams tackled p2, Staffanson, and our other remnants.

On phenology days, I collect pollen as I collect data because my personal project requires ample pollen. That doesn’t mean the pollen is abundant, however. ┬áToday, while I found anthers with copious pollen at Around Land Fill, I had to battle ants off of the Echinacea heads, and to collect data, I often had to wait for ants and other critters to walk to the ray florets, away from the immature florets I needed to count. Collecting what I believed to be enough pollen wasn’t an issue once I had shooed the critters, and Will and I headed back to the Hjelm house to check p1 by 11:00.

About two-thirds of the way through collecting data in p1, I saw raindrops smearing my check marks on the clipboard. Will suggested we get our rain jackets from inside, and we started to head back, but we stopped to look at a few more heads. Then, Stuart advised us to go in, and thunder clapped. About 15 minutes later than everyone else, Tracie and Anna came in from Staffanson. To our dismay, Tracie had lost her phone at Staffanson, and the rain was incessant, meaning immediate recovery was delayed. While rain poured over the research base, lightening flashed, and thunder shook our chairs, Tracie and other team members strategist a way to recover her phone. The solution: a systematic search of the area where she last saw her phone. We ate lunch, visited with Amy and her student, and headed out to Staffanson to find Tracie’s phone. We searched for about 10 minutes; then, ┬áTracie found her phone! Woohoo!

Tracie moments after recovering her phone at Staffanson

Because the search took a lot less time than we anticipated, Tracie helped me with my afternoon task of counting, pollinating, and painting my experimental plants. Pollination was going steady for the first 40 minutes, but then the rain set in, and my pollen started to clump, and I used a lot of the remaining pollen on a few styles. Half way through one of my pulse treatments, I ran out! Without much trouble however, Tracie and I drove to a nearby remnant to collect the rest of the pollen I needed, the rain let up, and I was able to finish my daily pollination.

After our field day, we came home and got ready for dinner: wing night at Angelina’s! We shared lively conversation, and met up with another research team in the area for cookies and socialization.

In the style of our new Twitter page @echinacea_rates, I give today a 12/10 for turning itself in a great direction.




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