Week 13: It feels like summer.

Last week, we measured 226 milkweeds, and noted 3 ERRORs. Two of three of these were well documented in the notes (a tree fell on top of a plant, and one plant couldn’t be located), but the third is a mystery.

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It has been pretty cool to read the blogs that have been posted, and your photos are great. Feel free to post photos of things you weren’t able to identify on the milkweeds; oftentimes, we are able to identify them from the photos. I’m not sure if everyone has been writing blogs, but the ones that are posted look great.

I also wanted to note that Carolanne and Maddie have offically taken the top spots for number of plants monitored and time in the field this year. Since they were in Mr. Bastin’s Environmental Science class at DHS in the spring and continued for the summer with GGI, they have monitored nearly 700 plants and spent more than 900 minutes in the field!

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Looks like the milkweeds continue to grow, but caterpillar numbers have been very low. I’m not sure why.

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In general, we aren’t seeing a lot of caterpillars anywhere – there have been a few different hotspots each week, but I’m not seeing a strong spatial pattern now.

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Maybe we are in the summer doldrums? With the recent heatwave still fresh in memory, I could imagine that lots of caterpillars didn’t make it.

One thing I almost forgot to mention: last week, a student-who-shall-not-be-named accidentally dragged zeros across nearly an entire column of data, effectively erasing hundreds of entries. While Google Drive keeps track of changes, and allows us to recover past versions, we usually can’t turn back the clock without losing lots of good changes as well. Luckily, we still have paper copies of all of these data, and Kenya was able to re-enter just that column of data, but it was a bit of a scare. Moral of the story? Please be mindful when working with the data!

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