Week three began with typical Indiana weather, humid and a chance of storms. Due to weather we stayed in the greenhouse Monday morning transplanting Carex stricta and Scirpus acutus. Miscellaneous handy work was also done around the greenhouse such as repairing leaks in plant beds. The rain cleared up by the afternoon, so after lunch we prepped the plants—Carex stricta, Carex aquatilis, Carex alata, Carex lupulina, Scirpus lineatus, Mimulus ringens, and Aster puniceus for transport to Cowles Bog. We spent the rest of the afternoon planting native plants and honing our inner martial art skills on dead cattails (roundhouse kicks are not only effective but extremely satisfying) with NPS staff John Dollard.
Tuesday morning was spent collecting Carex aquatilis seed in the Great Marsh. Due to high winds and the presence of a lot of dead standing trees (snags) we were limited to specific areas of the marsh. Before lunch we took a break from collecting seed and spent some time keying out native plant species in the marsh. In the afternoon, we returned to Cowles Bog and planted Carex aquatilis, Carex alata, Carex lupulina, Scirpus lineatus, Mimulus ringens, and Aster puniceus. At the end of the day we had a lesson in orienteering from our project leader Adam. We used a compass to navigate our way to a section of fen that has already been restored. The team found this highly inspirational, seeing the beauty of the restored system.
Wednesday morning began once again with transplanting as we awaited a large shipment of native plants at the NPS headquarters. This shipment had several new species for us, including Chelone glabra, Carex tribuloides, Solidago patula, Carex scoparia, Helenium autumala, and Carex squarrosa. Following the shipment the team planted in Cowles Bog with NPS staff Michael.
Thursday was a full day of planting for the team, with the help of NPS staff John Dollard. We planted Carex stricta, Carex aquatilis, and Carex lacustris in small populations across the site; the rest of the species (Carex alata, Iris virginica, Carex crinite, Carex lupulina, Carex lurida, and Scirpus lineatus) were scattered between the populations. The team thoroughly enjoyed the company of NPS staff John. We learned a lot about the problems associated with aggressive advertising as John pumped his fist at planes flying along the beach with obnoxious banner ads.
Week three was another successful week for the Indiana Dunes SCA team. We found out over the weekend that the bio-techs with the NPS had unofficially renamed the section of Cowles Bog we work in, to the SCA Sedge Meadow. Winning.