09-16-13 Restoration Field Note

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09-16-13 Restoration Field Note

September 16, 2013

Lauren Stoffel shares an update on the sunflower plantation, and seed collection.

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The sunflower field was in full bloom last week.

The sea of yellow blooms does not last long.

Browsers discovered the sunflowers this week. Judging from last year, we expect elk to eat all the flower heads within two weeks. After the alfalfa is depleted, sunflowers wont last long.

Corn obscures a Golden retriever in the foreground. After getting lost in it, I find the field slightly intimidating. I wonder if deer and elk share my apprehension.

apprehension. Over 50 mowing hours were logged mowing the entrance area, north and south center pivots, sainfoin fields, and the lower Woodchuck area.

This week we began k-line watering Poa secunda in the experimental garden to green up dormant plants. We will count the leaves of each plant before introducing knapweed and cheatgrass seed this fall.

For such a tenacious invader, knapweed seed is difficult to collect. The gall fly and seedhead weevil are biological controls which spend part of their life cycle feeding on knapweed seeds. Seedheads with more than a few intact seeds are rare in the areas we’ve surveyed.