Hello again, flog!

Today started off on a slightly less than auspicious footing, as the team’s morning plans of pollinating were largely rained out, as anthers don’t present transferable pollen until they dry. When the morning storms and damp stretched into the early afternoon, we began to realized that our hopes of performing the day’s pollen collection for our pulse/steady pollination experiment were likely to be dashed. Instead, we waited wistfully at the Hjelm House for the stormy weather to pass, working on indoor tasks like data frame cleaning or surv file arranging until the rain subsided enough for phenology data collection.

Over lunch, our discussion naturally turned to the age-old question of how a worm would wear a shirt, if shirts were made with worms in mind. Would they have small, empty sleeves, or would they disavow superfluous appendage coverings in their garments altogether? To aid us in our visualization, Erin handily mustered up her artistic skills and demonstrated exactly how a worm ought to properly attire itself with a tasteful tube top. To properly illustrate her point, she began composing perfect likenesses of the team members’ field outfits, like Jay’s signature flannels and JEGS hat, once adapted to the annelid form.

Lumbricus terrestris Jayicus in its conventional garb
Even Darwin, our handy GPS point shooting unit, got in on the wormy fun!

Finally, the rain cleared! We scampered out to P2 to do phenology, and though our pollinating fears from the morning came true when pollen refused to present, the team kept up the momentum by remeasuring and rechecking some of P2’s most interesting and bizarre plants. We circled back to basal plants with leaves half a meter long, flowering plants with four heads on one stalk, and plants with more than 10 rosettes and 50 basal leaves (a rarity when most plants have only two or three rosettes with less than 10 leaves total). With half of P2’s 80 rows triple-checked, we shifted gears to remnant population demography, as Erin and Shea trained Jay and me in the system of PBORY flag ordering and surv file code naming. As we identified and recorded flowering plants, we started adapting the lyrics of AC/DC’s T.N.T. on the fly to fit our demography PBORY protocol (pronounced P-Bor-Ee). Our chorus went something like the following:

Cuz it’s PBORY Gotta stake it right
PBORY Then flag the flowers in white
PBORY Count rosettes and heads
PBORY See how a population spreads!


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