Busy bees doing things and learning stuff

Today most of team went away to work on the Nature Conservancy project with the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid. And while I did not attend, from the group chat and an email, I deduced that a good ole’ time was had, that there was chocolate, and that it was a great year for flowering! I am looking forward to hearing about their trip and the project when they return tonight!

A select few of us, however, stayed back at camp to work on independent projects and oh, what an eventful day ensued! This day consisted of success, strife, disgruntled bumble bees, and progress!

Ah yes, I remember it like it was yesterday; however, it was only today, which really says something about today. Anyways, this morning Leah and I headed over to p2 to catch pollinators for my independent project about intra-specific pollen diversity. Leah caught a bumble bee, which unleashed a tenacious fury that Leah and I had never seen before. Who knew a bumble bee could get so angry or make itself look so large? Fortunately, it was in a vile and we observed safely from the side lines.


Leah and the indignant bumble bee.

Returning to the Hjelm house, I began painting bracts and Leah completed a lot of her pollen catalogue!

Jennifer and Alyson had already been working in the bog all morning removing buck thorn from Alyson’s plots for her independent project. Leah and I joined later to take down the relentless oppressor AKA buckthorn AKA buckthorn-(in-my-side). Ah, I kid, I kid…Much like this goat we spotted, the newest member of Team Echinacea.

I kid because it is more likely that we were a thorn in the buckthorn’s side because there are now 4 plots near the bog cleared of buckthorn!


The newest member of Team Echinacea being camera shy…

Other notable events that happened at the bog:

  • Jennifer took down a goliath buckthorn with her bare hands! (and a saw)

Jennifer vs. buckthorn. Winner: Jennifer. Every time.

  • A beaver was spotted on the edge of one of the plots! There are chewing marks on the side of this tree, but unfortunately it wasn’t buckthorn and the beaver was notified that we would no longer be outsourcing jobs to her and would rely on the robust and unyielding strength and determination of team Alyson/Jennifer/Leah/Laura.

Just a beaver workin’ hard.

Town hall with almost all of the flower children still away with the orchids was peaceful, quiet, and uneventful, allowing me to write this long flog post. The three remaining flower children were therefore able to cook in much smaller portions, to long for post-dinner conversations and shenanigans, and to take naps in everyone’s beds.


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