What an exciting few weeks it has been! After an incredible orientation week filled with seminars and symposiums on various topics relating to restoration, genetics, monitoring, plant identification and much more, we jumped head-first into our summer projects.
Happy Independence Day! This morning was filled with Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea Pallida. Here is the pallida and its visitor. The pallida grow much taller than the native species and even have white pollen rather than yellow. Next week I'll have to be sure to get a photo of a flowering pallida to show the difference.
On Friday the team only worked half the day. We met at Elk Lake to have a nice potluck and Stuart had us all read the Declaration of Independence! Here's a photo of Will's fruit pizza, isn't it beautiful? We also spent time swimming at the lake and canoeing!
Yesterday I finally started my project. Yes, I know that this is 3 1/2 weeks since the internship started. So why the delay?
What a month has been June! Wow. I can't believe is been almost a month already since I am in the garden working in the Plant Science Center. The only things I can think about is in moths, genetic structures, populations, DNA, PCR, electrophoresis and sequencing. Over and over again. Some may say: "What a headache that must be!", but actually dear reader... IT'S BEEN AMAZING!
In a battle against mosquitoes, relentless red wing blackbirds, and rain, science will prevail! These are the distractions and disturbances of the Botanic Garden's shorelines, but they do not stop the show. I am working alongside Ben Girgenti on shoreline restoration evaluation this summer.
Here, we have the team practicing how to operate the machinery purchased from the MIB (Men In Black). There are several prairie remnants we have to visit, so using these tools to "shoot" and "stake" the Echinacea makes them easier to find. The poles are more than 6 feet tall and they can locate an Echinacea within a few centimeters.
Where you may see a fairly pretty picture of a prairie, I see a day's work: transects to be taken, plots to be sampled, and oh so many species to be identified.
This morning we started our day with getting rid of the unwanted yellow sweet clover in a nearby plot. There was so much sweet clover to pull and this was our second attempt. Fortunately, with a lot of pulling and team work, we cleared the area of mostly all the invasive sweet clover.
Although this ode that I wrote does not quite describe Flagstaff, I feel compelled to post it after seeing some of the species that inspired it in the first place.
I search thee out with earnestness
Across white, wind-blown dunes
For you are truly marvelous
Beneath the light of moon