Something told the wild geese…

It’s autumn at Chicago Botanic Garden! Geese fly south overhead, the trees are ablaze, goldenrod has gone to seed, and there was even a dusting of snow on the ground this morning (which made for a treacherous bike ride along the Green Bay Trail).

But there are also many other signs within the Population Biology lab that will tell you fall is in the air. All of our heads from 2023 are done drying and we have just begun to inventory our harvest.

Here is Wyatt, pulling out the very first bag for 2023 inventory.

How else do we know it’s fall? We are gathering seeds and datasheets in preparation for a final return to Minnesota. We put these seeds out in experimental plots/transects or remnants “as late as possible, but not to late”. Ian is entering the last of the data from pollen and nectar collection this summer and it feels like forever ago. And when 4pm hits, the sun shines though the atrium and fills our lab with natural light. This doesn’t happen very often, but it’s a treat when it does.

Maybe it is all these tell-tale signs from the Echinacea Project that told the wild geese- “It was time to go”.


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