This week kicked off with monitoring the monarchs we introduced last week. I monitor their growth every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As I said before, the monarchs are easier to find over time due to their constant growth and the visible damage they cause to the milkweed. However, they also tend to disappear over time. Most caterpillars are eaten, or otherwise perish.
I started collection data at North Davis Creek. The plants that aren’t establishing from the last round of seeding are going to be replaced. This week I replaced 64 missing plants from 1 to 123. In addition to replacing missing plants, all plants are getting plant protectors installed. These seedling tubes are to be labeled with the plant ID number. Some tubes also get MMMILC project bumper stickers. Plant replacement at North Davis Creek will be my main focus for next week.
One of this week’s setbacks occurred at LTRAS. There were two leaks that needed repair. With the line at LTRAS buried, I found it more troublesome to repair the leaks I found while watering. Fortunately, the leaks appeared to be just cracks in the tubing, as opposed to damage from the tiller. Just in case, I ensured the line was buried a little deeper when I was finished.
While watering at LTRAS and Putah Creek, I replaced several milkweeds that had died. I made 5 replacements at Putah Creek and 3 at LTRAS.
I tried to make a little headway against the weeds at LTRAS, but only managed to hit about 10% of them. I underestimated the amount of weeds left after the latest tilling. With all of the other things going on with this project, I feel that I will not be able to remove the last of the weeds before they put out seeds.
This week’s second setback occurred while monitoring monarchs out at Putah Creek. I noticed the measurements from the calipers seemed off. I noticed that there was some obstruction in the track of the calipers causing the measurements to skew. Fortunately there was another pair at the lab. After replacing the calipers I had to double check and re-measure about 20 affected measurements.