I arrived at Wheaton Labs with some perennial plants thinned from my garden in Minnesota. These are plants that with no care would spread to take over the whole urban lot. I figured that made them good candidates for the fledgling food systems here at the lab, where there's a bit more space for them to expand.
One more photo, which I guess is garlic chives, but we always called onion grass. I also gave almost as much as is in all these photos to Evan for his ant plot. Not pictured were some comfrey, horse radish, and oregano.
Jocelyn was just telling me about salsify and then i found a good example of it in bloom. Found a growie with very hairy leaves, felt a little sticky, and a yellow and purple veined flower. I couldn't track down an ID on that one. The highlight of the day was when Evan and i were helping Michael work on the RMH in the teepee. We heard the buzz of tens of thousands of bees. The skiddablebee hut is near the teepee, so i figure the colony there was splitting. I followed them about 800 ft where they rested on the branch of a dead tree while their scouts went looking for a new home. At first they were very noisy, but soon quieted down. I'm trying to get the video sorted out so i can post that too.
In the spirit of "some video is better than no video", here is a video with some clips from the bee swarm. At first they are flying everywhere, then they are calmed down into a clump while they wait for the scouts. Sorry for the bad orientation of the video. I tried to adjust it in editing. Next time will be better.
Here is some Lupine hard at work fixing nitrogen in the middle of a little used road at the lab. Then there is a crazy fungus that Evan showed me bursting out of one of the trees on his plot. I later found it is the pine-oak gall rust. It is a fungal disease caused by Cronartium quercuum, and requires both a pine and oak host to complete it's life cycle. I haven't seen any oaks around here, though. On such a young tree it will likely cause death, though older trees can survive with a little disfiguring. After visiting with Evan i found a bunch of orchids across the street from ant village. The Mountain Lady's Slipper (Cronartium quercuum).