The Gopher!

Monday morning we started out by doing our phenology routes, I was in the northwest/landfill group with Wesley and Allie. Unfortunately, the wind was blowing in the wrong direction and it made for a stinky morning at landfill! The morning was the fastest morning of phenology yet, we were all back and finished well before lunch. The reason it was so fast was because so many plants were done flowering so we didn’t have to check them. Last Friday we did independent estimates of how many heads we thought were going to be excluded from our routes as of Monday morning. Alex won with an estimate of 521, only 2 off from the correct answer of 519 heads!

Our afternoon consisted of working on independent projects. For me, this meant heading out with Kennedy to P2 to asses style persistence and dust more echinacea for Team Dust. While we were there we saw lots of different critters, ranging from a robber fly (if you haven’t seen one, just know that you don’t want this fly to bite you) to a gopher. The gopher didn’t seem to notice that we were there, it came right up to us! As a future gopher, I was very excited to see my mascot in the field.

Since there was still more time in the afternoon, we went back to Hjelm to see what we could help with. I went out with Wesley to search for liatris in remnants for his independent project assessing liatris and butterflies in the remnants. Some sites didn’t seem to have any, but others were promising! At the end of the day Wesley and I helped Allie with the aphid project and we searched for aphids and looked at different echinacea plants in P1. While we were successful in finishing assessing all of plants, none of us found any aphids. Once we did our chores, we were able to head out for the day and get ready for Tuesday!


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