P01-nat project update!

This week I worked on scanning, randomizing and counting for P01-nat. The batch is now entirely scanned, and the images are up on the ACE website for counting! The other volunteers and I have completed 26.2% of counting as of the end of the day today. We are half done with the randomizing for the batch, and I am hoping to have that step of the process completed by the end of next week. Today I was also trained in how to prepare sheets for x-ray (end result of that process pictured below in Image 1), and I should be completing that process with P01-nat within the next couple of weeks! I have also included a picture of the end result of the rechecking process, which I detailed in my post last week (Image 2).

Image 1. Informative achenes ready for scanning.
Image 2. Labeled envelopes and bags after rechecking is completed.

Oops, all hornets!

Today, while deploying emergence traps, we avenged our recently stung colleague (Ellysa Johnson). One of our randomly selected points was directly upon a hornets nest (a few are seen in this photo, but tens were present and buzzing furiously). Miraculously, neither of the crew members present were stung. Let this day mark our revenge.

Also we did demo.

Wheel of Good Fortune

Ritualistic randomizer

A machine of the organizer

Shake up the pairing

Instead of despairing

Stale routine? Revitalize her!

Episode 0: Pilot

In this episode of a day we started off testing out Jared’s protocols for micro habitats. We gathered data like soil compaction, light availability and litter depth from random test points. We had lots of success and even more discoveries on how to make things run smoother. Tomorrow we will put the newly revised protocol to the test in the first official episode of micro habitats!

Busy lil bees:)

This morning half of our team set out to capture some bees! We caught a total of thirty bees of varying species. Once secured in the tube, we set the captured bees in a cooler to “calm them down.” Once the bees were sound asleep we removed pollen from their fuzzy little bodies to study further. But have no fear! The lil guys were soon returned to their home site, free and in the wild! All in all a very successful morning and we await the next time we get to wrangle some little fuzzy pollinators.

Everyone loves Echinacea!

We had a dreary, drizzly day in Douglas county, but that didn’t stop the bugs and other critters from enjoying the cool weather. Other critter sightings from the day include and are not limited to: deer, snakes, chipmunks, geese, ducks and other various birds, stink bugs, dragonflies, crickets, lots of mosquitoes and flies, and of course Team Echinacea members.

Wrong, Yet Welcome, Pollinator

The pollinator team set out to recover some emergence traps (picture 1) this afternoon. While we didn’t find ground-nesting bees, which this project is centered around, we did see another pollinator while sifting through grass that extended beyond our own heads (Jan for scale; picture 2). The viceroy (Limenitis archippus; picture 3) looks incredibly similar to the monarch (Danaus plexippus), except for the black, horizontal line that cuts across their dorsal wings. We hope to see even more pollinator friends as the field season goes on!

Flags and traps

This morning a group of us went out to flag P2 (thank you Wyatt for taking that picture). We created a new path to the plot, we divided, we flagged and we conquered. We also saw a few flowering Echinacea along the way. We had lunch and Lindsey gave a presentation on her smoke project and taught us about the ABT method before we all discussed our own possible projects for the summer. Then in the afternoon I went out with the pollinator team to place emergence traps! We know that poison ivy is a common hazard out in the plots, but we weren’t watching out for it and ended up stepping in a patch of poison ivy. Therefore, we should work as a team to be more aware of our surroundings. (See what I did there?). Watch your step out there and great work today team!

Big day for planting!

Today about half of the team got together and planted a new experimental plot. We all found our roles, worked efficiently, and got it done in 2 1/2 hours. Good work team! I’m excited to see what happens to the plot over the summer!

Little Guy in his Natural Habitat

A monarch butterfly caterpillar at the Runestone Park remnant which is abundant with milkweed, his favorite snack.