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Tag Archives: prairie

What a difference a year makes

One of the first papers on pollination I tried to publish got rejected because I had data from only one field season. So I withdrew the paper and did another year of research. But why is having two years of data so important? It is mainly because the world is a messy place. This year I conducted a second year of pollinator surveys at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve. One thing I learned was that the flowering season starts much earlier than I had anticipated. Initially I thought August would be the month with the most flowers blooming but now I know that May has more due to the abundance…

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I always feel like something is watching me

Usually when I do field work I’m by myself. But sometimes I get the feeling that I’m being watched. The main things that have been watching me this year are the cows. The Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, is sustainably grazed by a herd of cows. Aside from using some of my plot stakes as scratching posts and knocking them down, they generally leave me alone and I leave them alone. Sometimes, though, they get a little curious and stare at me with those slightly vacant eyes as if they are expecting me to do something spectacular, and that’s when I start to feel…

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Pollination: A Comparison of Prairies

It was with some sadness that I finished my last field work of the season at the Nature Conservancy’s Yellow Quill Prairie. It will be many long, cold months before I get to go out again. However, I was eager to get back to the office to crunch some numbers and see how the pollinator community in mixed grass prairie differed from the fescue and tall grass prairies that I’ve studied previously. One thing that was quite obvious was that I started too late. Although flowering did not get underway in the fescue prairie until well into June, I had missed some of the earliest flowering plants by starting my…

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Gettin’ down at Yellow Quill Prairie

Last week I started my field season by getting down on my hands and knees to collect plants and pollinators at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve, which is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/?referrer=https://www.google.ca/). While that may not sound particularly appealing to you, it is something that I love about my job. After a long winter stuck inside, it is marvelous to spend some time out in nature appreciating the absence of city noise. When I arrived at the prairie, I was greeted by a sound that I absolutely adore: the call of a Western Meadowlark (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvAUgFb1cLY). Nothing says “prairie” like a meadowlark! Unfortunately I was also…

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