It really feels like summer now, with the temperatures regularly in the triple digits. The MMMILC data is showing that as well, with a pretty significant decline in the numbers of milkweeds that are still alive this week. It went from 240 last week to 221 this week, a decline of about 8%. I wonder if this marks a turning point in the season – I certainly don’t expect the number of live plants to go up, and I suspect we’ll see some more plants start to disappear each week. I’m starting to think that this is different from the senescence that happens at the end of the season, when everything turns yellow and dies back. The current plants are actually still >95% green. So maybe these early summer disappearances are small plants that have done the best they can this year, and are checking out before they have a chance to flower. These plants are probably not really dead; milkweeds are tough perennials, and I think some of these plants might come back next year, or possibly even this year if conditions improve.
While you are out there, keep an eye on the channel itself. You might see if full of water in the middle of the summer. Where do you think this water is coming from?
Before I forget, please be sure to check out the full data reports on the shared drive. I try to generate these each week. They are in the reports folder – you should find it in the same place you find the project data.
We did have a few more data errors than usual this week, including a segment of about 12 plants that didn’t get measured. I’m not sure what happened. Kenya and Lemuel were kind enough to go collect those data when we realized they were missing, but please double check to make sure that you complete the milkweeds that were assigned to you.
For other data collection tips, please also reference this older post.
Interesting thing here is that the plants are still pretty green, but check out the reduction in the number of live plants. I also noticed that everyone in the GGI has seen at least one monarch larvae, which is pretty cool.
I’m pretty interested to see if the number of larvae observed each week continues to trend up; they certainly seem to be getting larger.
A big-picture moment: are you interested in science? Here is a link to some very concise advice from some excellent mentors about getting started in science.
One last thing for this week, our first Quick Poll. I’ll send out the link via Remind – if you haven’t already filled it out, please fill it out now.