Hello Echination! It’s me again, Riley. I’m finally returning to regular summer flogs, and I am beyond excited to be doing so. As regular flog subscribers may know, I spent the winter with Team Echinacea at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and I have been looking forward to adventures in west-central Minnesota for a while now. I like to think my return to the prairie was as epic as Kurt Angle’s TNA debut.

Nonetheless, we had a productive team day today. This morning, Anna M, Mia, and I went out to hybrid exPt7 and exPt9 and flagged the plots for future measuring. It went very smoothly relative to previous years! Additionally, we found a flowering plant in experimental plot 7! We expect it is either an Echinacea pallida plant or a hybrid. I think it may be in the same plant that flowered in 2018 in exPt7. Other team members weeded in exPt1 this morning, and Erin worked on preparing Darwin to stake and shoot plants in the remnants. Finally, Amy W and Emma went to remnants to take demography records on plants that have initiated flowering.

We had a fun lunch and headed over to West Central Area High School for an afternoon of meetings. First, we talked about team norms and expectations over Zoom. We started by trying to all Zoom from the same room, but that was a disaster. We decided to split into separate rooms, and the meeting went well thereafter. Finally, we talked as a group (this time, in-person) about COVID-19 expectations and preparedness. Once again, our meeting went well, and we have clearer ground rules to mitigate COVID transmission opportunities.

Well, flog readers, thanks for having me! I’ll talk to ya soon!!! Peace out Echination.

First rays up of the year in the study area!! (except we think it’s pallida. rat.)

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