May 24 – Let’s Move a Prairie

Thursday after my last final was the appointed time to move our North Campus prairie.  It was planted about a year ago in the center of the circle drive on 18th street, and we had to move it to the center square between all of the buildings.  Several of my students showed up, as extra credit was involved.  I’d like to think that most of them are dedicated enough that they would have come anyway.  Did I mention it was raining?  Hard.  The whole time.  We had rain gear, but still ended up covered in mud, sweaty and tired.  It was much harder than I thought it was going to be.  Even though we had gotten a John Deer Gator from the groundskeeper, which helped a lot, it was back-breaking work.  There were a lot more plants than I remembered.  Some were already blooming.  At least we didn’t have to water them!  We had already prepared the new site by spraying it with Round-up the week before.  My volunteers were Jenn Zimmerman, Barb O’Dear, Kassidy Shuman, Leo Bistak and Shawn Murr. 

Monday I had to go in for a meeting with a student and lunch with the School of Education (at the Pier, yum!).  Afterward I thought I’d move a couple of plants that we’d missed on Thursday.  Actually, I had left behind a bunch of primroses because we had so many of them.  Many were now in bloom, with big yellow flowers.  So it was pretty obvious that these should go.  As I began to inspect further, I found more and more plants to move.  So that ended up being a bigger job than I thought as well.  Only now it was hot and humid.  Having no Gator, I hauled the plants in buckets.  I had a pretty good sweat going by the time I was done.   Our secretary Amy did all the watering, for which I was thankful.  Some of the plants still looked great and were even blooming after being moved last Thursday, but most looked wilted from the transplant shock.  I’m hoping for a little rain to get them through the week.  I had a nice ride home on the motorcycle anyway.  I wasn’t able to take any pics of the flowers, so here are some birds from the back yard.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, female
First ruby-throated hummingbird of the year. Northern Flicker
Pair of mourning doves Northern Cardinal, male

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