Tom's Blog

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day field trip

Our annual Labor Day field trip was held yesterday. Twenty people attended. The weather was warm (actually hot), but a light cloud cover helped keep conditions bearable.

One of the traditions of this trip is to co-opt any willing participants to collect some seed. On the south-slope shortgrass prairie, side oats grama is collected. In the savanna, bottle brush grass is collected. The photo above shows some folks collecting side oats on a small restored prairie at the top of the ridge. We got a lot of useful seed!

Conditions have been brutally dry for the past month. The Conservancy actually looks better than could be expected with these conditions, probably because of the heavy rains we had in June. The deep-rooted prairie plants are probably doing all right, and the savanna species, less deep rooted, are probably doing all right because they are in partial shade.

We have suffered through month-long droughts before. Three years ago it did not rain a drop between mid August and mid September, a whole month. One consequence that year was that our little bluestem grass did not make seed. We'll see what happens this year.


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