Orchid Trip Part 2!

Hello Flog!

John’s post yesterday provided plenty of updates about Friday’s work on the Hjelm House front. Now it’s my turn to update on the second half of the Western Prairie Fringe Orchid Project, in which Gretel, Stuart, Riley, Drake, and I went out into the wet prairie to assess orchid fitness.

Out in the Nature Conservancy’s wet prairie reserves (which were much drier this time around), we revisited all of the nearly 1000 orchids we identified on the first trip earlier this summer. First, we counted and squeezed all the seed pods to estimate the plant’s seed set, and then we finished shooting GPS points each plant we found. We finished our field work in good time, finishing staking of the South plot in 3 hours, and the Northwest plot in less than 2.

The swollen seed pods of an orchid stalk, with the desiccated flowers still attached
Drake had the chance to meet Pedicularis lanceolata (Pedicularis canadensis is more common around Douglas County)
We also stumbled upon a chubby monarch butterfly chomping on some swamp milkweed

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