Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Field day, chartreuse shirts, and lots of new blooms.

Tomorrow is the annual Turfgrass Field Day at the AJ Powell Turf Research Station, where several hundred turf managers, horticulturalists, greenhouse operators, landscapers, highway maintenance people, and anyone else connected to the turf and landscape industry come together for a long day of continuing education.

My lab loves Field Day.

Field Day for us consists of a hanging out in the great outdoors, giving lectures on our research, and interacting with the end-users for the data we produce.  We are able to give people advice for managing pests in the urban landscape, and we usually get very valuable feedback from the crowds with whom we speak.

We also get free donuts, coffee, and lunch, which is always delicious and very welcome.


New turfgrass science shirts for all the presenters, which have ranged in the past from slick, black athletic shirts, to gray T-shirts, to this year's choice, delivered today:  chartreuse polos.

The color isn't really coming through in all its super-bright glory, so here's an example which more accurately reflects the color of the matching shirts that my lab of six grown adults will be wearing:
Photo credit: Mark-Anthony and Christine Rice  
I'm actually kind of fond of the color, but we originally thought it was going to be hunter green.  Some of the more grown up folks are not quite as excited about the slightly silly color as me.

It might be a grumpy troupe of six adults wearing the same chartreuse shirts tomorrow morning.


The plots are going to be on full display tomorrow morning to about three hundred people, and they are looking good.

New species blooming right now:
Prairie coneflower

 Purple coneflower

Black-eyed Susan

And plains coreopsis!

The bergamot is getting ready to start putting out its first lilac tendrils!

We even had a few visitors, like this Speyer's cucullia caterpillar.  I was initially fooled in my excitement into thinking this was a Monarch caterpillar, but quickly realized that I would never find a Monarch on fleabane (pictured here), but only on milkweed.


I did find an adult Monarch happily foraging on lance leaf coreopsis!

All of this is very exciting for me and my lab, and I can't wait to show off the plots to the public tomorrow morning.

Even if the only thing more colorful than the Operation Pollinator plots will be our shirts.

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