06-18-13 Field Note

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06-18-13 Field Note

June 18, 2013

Jeff Clark's Field Note recounts adventures in weeding, cooking prickly pears, and surviving mosquitos.

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06-14-13 Field Note

The field crew planted Ylva’s 16,000 forb study one month ago. This week we returned to the study site to remove weeds. It took the six person crew 2 1/2 days to remove every weed. We will return once a month to clean the plots.

Clean and happy plots!

Leafy spurge dies at the hands of our crew. We declare new battle lines daily.

Mike Henning regraded the unstable hill side near the bottom of Tongue Creek and covered it with new top soil. Last week, the field crew spread a seed mix (penstemon, sunflower, wheat and more) over the top, and then raked it into the soil. After seeding, we covered it with jute and soaked it with water. We hope this new restoration technique takes hold, and produces a stable, vegetated slope.

Alan Ramsey placed eight new bear rub posts around the ranch. We hope that they get a lot of use and they collect hair for DNA extraction.

Hounds tongue matures flower by flower. Their beautiful blooms will soon be sticky, annoying seeds. On Monday, the crew from NWC will arrive, and embark on a hounds tongue eradication mission.

Here is another example of aspen protection in the North Floodplain. These trees have been protected for 2 1/2 years.

I ate the guts of a prickly pear cactus for the first time this week. It was quite good! It has a taste, texture and color similar to an unripened kiwi. If you decide to eat cactus, be careful when removing the needles and skin; they can cause prolonged pain!

A cottonwood cavity squawked at me as I passed. I found four large, hungry, flicker babies staring at me.

A painted turtle soaks in some warm rays.

This macro shot of a green stink bug shows its compound eyes as well as its simple eyes, also called pigment eyes. The simple eye contains a single lens which detects light.

Clouds of female mosquitoes swarm mammals in the floodplain in hopes of hitting red gold! Once they land on their victim, they thrust their serrated proboscis beneath the skin and poke around for a blood reservoir. After tapping the blood, they inject anti-coagulating saliva and begin to pump. A full abdomen of blood can feed 200 developing mosquito eggs.

Recent Field Work • Spray spurge • Weed study plots • Mat weeds • Spread seed • Lay jute • Build pond • Weed whack campion • Weed whack noxious weeds • Place verbanone packets

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06-14-13 Field Note