Update: End of July and Beginning of August

During the last week of July, in addition to working on our independent projects, we spent lots of time measuring in the Common Garden. It’s kind-of like a yearly check-up for all the Echinacea plants there: we count their leaves and rosettes and heads, measure their stems and longest leaves, and check them for bugs or other damage.
However, this past Monday we were forced to take a break from measuring due to a huge storm! The wind knocked down lots of trees. One landed right on the Hjelm house roof! Luckily there wasn’t much damage, and everyone is safe and sound.
Tuesday was also eventful, but in a different way: It was Callin’s last day with Team Echinacea before heading back to New Mexico to teach for another year. Good luck Callin! We miss you!
Later in the week, we finished measuring in the Common Garden and started demography. Demography is when we visit all the remnants in the Echinacea Project’s study area to locate and collect data about flowering plants. It’s been fun to visit some of the sites I hadn’t been to before, and to see how the different land-use history of each has affected the plants that grow there.
Then on Friday we went to Staffanson Prairie Preserve to check on the seedlings we planted there earlier this summer. It looks like mortality was pretty high, but we only finished searching about a third of the planted area, so maybe the seedlings are doing better in the rest of the plot. I guess we’ll find out next week!


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