Tom's Blog

Friday, June 26, 2009

Beating the heat

Today (Friday) Kathie and I got up at 5:30 AM and were in the field ready to start work at 7 AM. It was a beautiful time of day. The sun was behind the hills and the savanna and whole south slope at Pleasant Valley Conservancy was in the shade. It was not until about 9 AM that the south slope felt the full brunt of the sun.

We decided that we are going to keep that schedule as long as the weather is hot. Why not? All it takes is going to bed early.

I spent the whole day surveying my purple milkweed (State Endangered) transplants to see how they are doing. I have been doing transplants since 2006 and now have plants in their first, second, third, and fourth growing seasons. Each transplant is permanently marked and is being followed. Almost 100% of the transplants get through the first summer, provided they are watered when needed. About 75-80% survive the first winter and grow into the second year. Most of those that survive the second year continue through subsequent years. Most plants flower in their third growing season, and by the fourth growing season they look as if they had always been there. In fact, you can't tell them from plants that arose spontaneously.

Right now is peak flowering time for milkweeds. Not only purples, but also poke, swamp, butterfly, whorled, short green, and common milkweed are flowering.


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