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Lots (and Lots) of September Updates

It’s been pretty busy here as we begin to wrap up the summer field season. We’ve been slowly chipping away at all the tasks that need to be completed before the end of next week. I hope you’re ready for a jam-packed flog post!!

1. Remnant echinacea harvest is done! We have harvested every single focal echinacea plant at each of our remnant sites. Now we just have P1 left…

2. Liatris harvesting has begun and is in full swing! Just like with Echinacea, Liatris has to be harvested at the exact right time – wait too long and all the heads on a stem may already have dispersed. We’ve been visiting our Liatris sites every 3-4 days to try and ensure we catch all of our focal plants right on time. We snip off the stalks and put them in a labeled L-bag. 

A Liatris plant that’s ready for harvest!

3. Total demo is all done! This week we finished up our very last total demography site. Pictured here: Lindsey, Alex, and I at Hegg during what was our foggiest (but prettiest!) total demo experience. 

Me and Lindsey at Hegg, Featuring Taylor the GPS in her little raincoat
Alex recording demography at another total demo site
Beautiful bottle gentians!

4. Andropogon update! Last week we collected and counted lots of remnant and pilot Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). At each randomly selected point, we used a meter stick to count the total number of Andropogon culms within a 1m radius and then harvested all the inflorescences. Counting and harvesting can take quite a while – especially if you get a particularly dense plot like this one that Alex and I counted which contained almost 200 culms (higher than last year’s record!)

The hydra Andropogon plot in question – the more heads we cut the more seemed to appear

5. We also enjoyed a little rainy day time indoors learning how to clean Asclepias seed pods from Jared – a very fun and relaxing activity. 

And here is Lindsey using the metal detector to locate nails in one of the recruitment plots. We found the nails and beat the storm – a success! 

It’s been an exciting and productive week with lots done and lots more to do! Thanks for reading 🙂

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