This week started out a bit rough. Monday found itself with isolated thunderstorms and light rain moving through the middle of the work day. Also, the access road for the intended work site of Cowles Bog (west) was blocked by some utility trucks trimming trees, bushes, and overgrowth. The team quickly recovered from the impediment and rerouted to “plan B” and wound up in the Great Marsh working alongside NPS staff planting populations of Carex stricta, Carex aquatilis, and other mixed sedges and forbs. We left early to do some much needed grocery shopping before returning to the apartment for dinner, movies, and an evening of working on our midseason project.
Tuesday, we returned to the Great Marsh in the morning to finish planting the unfortunate plants that had not made it into the ground the day before, and, as a result sat out in buckets and trays in the shade of bushes, forsaken all night. The planting was finished by lunch, so we went to the greenhouse for lunch. After lunch the team began a new section of Cowles Bog (east) where 20 flats of Carex stricta were already eagerly awaiting us. We had to search for an open site to plant in and were lucky to find a spot where the cattail was already flattened thus saving Adam and David from crushing out the area for the team. We planted 26 of the flats before heading back to heaadquarters to clean things up and tidy up before returning to the apartment to work on the midseason project once more.
Wednesday was the last field day at the park since Adam gave the team off on Thursday to work hard on the midseason project, since the presentation day was fast approaching. We went back out to Cowles Bog east to finish planting the Carex stricta and also planted some Carex aquatilis and Iris virginica before returning to the greenhouse for lunch. The afternoon found us back at Cowles Bog (east), hunting for yet another new site. Luckily, another mostly-flattened area was ripe for picking, so we settled in to planting quickly, placing more populations of Carex stricta in the ground. After successfully finishing off 25 flats, it was time to go home. Dinner was the delayed tacos that everyone missed on Tuesday. That cheered everyone up…along with the fact that, aside from research and working on the midseason project, the weekend had begun.
Thursday, we all slept in before getting to work on the midseason project that loomed ever nearer. Hours were spent in the library and at computers, typing notes, making diagrams, and organizing information to plaster all over the posterboard; as well as to cram into our and others’ brains. Thursday ended too soon, for the work was far from finished. Luckily, we still had one more day to prepare.
Friday began slowly, but we all got organized and began working steadily once more. We worked into the night, pasting our facts, figures, and plenty of pictures on to the posterboard. The posterboard was finished near midnight, except for the corner reserved for Adam to add SCA information the next morning before the event begun. Accomplished, the team went to bed.
Saturday began earlier than the previous two days and the team found themselves back at the greenhouse to get a few things. Adam and Christine stayed at the greenhouse to gather a flat full of sedges, forbs, and rushes to display for all the people in the park while David and Rose went out to the bog to pull a cattail. The specimen they returned with was a very impressive—tall, fluffy cattail with a full chunk of roots and rhizome, connecting it to the adjacent cattail, which had been pulled at the same time. It made for a good eye-catching piece, as everyone would soon learn. The team left the greenhouse then, having plants, waders, and trowels in tow…only to remember that the tent we were supposed to use had been forgotten, so we had to turn around and get it. We made it to the park 5 minutes before 9, which was when Bark in the Park began. Adam was waiting for us and showed us where to pull up to we could unload and get things set up. We hauled things over to our place by the bandstand and quickly got our table and tent in place, our board going up with plants alongside. The board refused to be free-standing, so Adam drove off to get tape for stability and candy as an attractant for the fair-goers. We met lots of friendly people and spread the word about invasive cattail to any who were willing to listen. Christine got to leave the table early (before noon) because her parents and aunt and uncle arrived and took her away for a tour of the park. However, everyone won with that situation, since her mother had brought fresh rice crispies bars along, and Christine shared them with the team when she returned to the table with a whole 30 minutes left before the event ended. Luckily, the event didn’t go long into the afternoon, because the day was getting hot and muggy. Clean-up went swiftly and we returned the plants and tent (we remembered it this time) to the greenhouse and were on our way to enjoy the rest of our Saturday.