Echinacea Project first few days update


Just checking in after the first few days of fieldwork this summer! I’m getting used to fieldwork that’s individual-plant oriented rather than surveying an entire community, since the EP focuses on long-term monitoring of individual Echinacea plants.

That said, I did like getting a prairie community refresher through the diverse range of plants we saw at Staffanson Prairie, a Nature Conservancy preserve we explored yesterday. Mia, Lea, and I had a good time looking at some plant field guides after work to remember what they all were. (Featured species: bracted spiderwort Tradescantia bracteata, below!)

Besides Staffanson, it was interesting getting a sense of the range of prairie fragments––along roadsides, on hillsides, next to a landfill, etc., anywhere that isn’t in use for agriculture––that we’ll be monitoring this summer. Right now there’s lots phenology monitoring, which starts with flagging Echinacea plants that are already starting to flower. Today Erin started showing me how to use the GPS that we’ll use for surveying the flowering plants. Lots to come FLOG!

Long-bracted spiderwort, Tradescantia bracteata
Fun fact: this plant is called spiderwort because the juice in its stem is sticky and apparently looks like a spider’s thread!

The landfill prairie site––landfill in background

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