Phenology Friday

Flowering Milkweed found at East of Elk Lake Road.

Today was a phenology day for Team Echinacea.  One of the things that I like best about phenology is that it allows you to visit a large array of fragments and encourages you to really get to know them as you work your way through the Echinacea maps Stuart has prepared and seek out plants.  I went along the north west route today, a route I had never been on before.  This route includes East Elk Lake Road, North North West of Landfill, Northwest of Landfill, and Around Landfill, among others.  None of these sites, in my opinion are as stunning as the East Elk Lake Road.  East Elk Lake Road isn’t a huge site, but there were a number of flowering Echinacea, including those being used by Leah in her independent project.  East Elk Lake Road has both great scenery and a diversity of beautiful wildflowers.  In particular, I thought the flowering milk weed was especially pretty.

After phenology, Team Echinacea convened for lunch as usual.  Through the entire lunch I was on the edge of my seat.  I had been expecting several packages delivering the materials I need for my independent study, and without them I really could not start.

I went with Gretel in the afternoon to GPS some plants at a few of the fragments, and after very very narrowly getting poison ivy, we returned to the Hjelm house.  There, like brown treasure chests waiting to be cracked open, sat my boxes full of lab equipment.  I skipped down the stairs leading to the Hjelm house basement (though not really because that’s crazy dangerous with boxes in your hands, and doubly so because I’m crazy uncoordinated).  Anyways, I set up my lab space, didn’t fall down the stairs, and went out to P1 to help the crew there weed hawk weed.

After all this excitement (it was mostly just me), we all sat down to chocolate cake.  I have no idea how Gretel found time to make this, as we had GPS-ed earlier and I don’t think I had been weeding for more than an hour.  To put it simply, Gretel’s cake was crazy good, and we all appreciated it very very very much.


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