Team Echinacea works on the surface of the Sun

Hello, devotees,

There was a lot of hoopla over the weather today. It got up into the lower 90s with humidity ranging from 70 – 90%. The natives tell me that this is very hot and unusual for the area. For those fellow Virginians out there, it was maybe a little bit cooler than an average day.

To beat the heat, we started at 8:00 this morning. Leah and Alex started the day catching bees at Aanenson and the Landfill, while Jennifer and Laura returned to P2 (where the P apparently stands for ‘purgatory’). The rest of us did phenology. I went with Amy and Will to our transect Staffanson, where the burned West unit was in full bloom and the unburned East unit was on its way out. We found eight new flowering plants at Staffanson today. Lea and Jame did the Northwest route, where thankfully this time nobody was left behind. Gretel and Alyson knocked out the southwest route, while Abby did the East and P1 (no other P though).

Today’s lunch was one of our more controversial ones. For one, Lea ate two pieces of watermelon instead of one. Personally, I was fuming. Instead of eating watermelon, I was forced to eat one of Will’s tiny grapes. After lunch, a few of us enjoyed cups of shirts-on coffee, while strategizing for measuring plants in P1. Today we set forth to conquer INB2 — an experiment studying the fitness of inbred plants. See picture for summary.

Relevant reading for measuring plants in P1


Amidst all the duff and dirt-colored staples, we put our meter sticks to good use measuring these crosses for an hour and a half. Mercifully, Stuart and Gretel allowed us to stop measuring early in the afternoon as we crossed the vaunted 90 degree threshold. From here, some went to Elk Lake, where I participated in an endurance water-treading contest that apparently nobody else was aware of, and still lost. The Wagenius family was also there, taking a quick dip before going to the library. Others stayed at the Hjelm House for independent project related work. We ate some great alfredo courtesy of Alyson, where the mystery ingredient was cheese curds. While eating, we were engrossed in a who-has-longer-arms tournament, where Laura pulled off several upsets but still came up just a little bit short of the crown. We’re preparing ourselves for tomorrow’s heat, turning on seemingly every appliance in the kitchen to make some ginger beverage and banana bread. We’re starting again at 8:00 tomorrow, but if today has taught us anything, it’s that it’s never too early to start sweating.

Lea does the reverse-sauna in the freezer.

Lea does the reverse-sauna in the freezer.


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