The COW Patches’ Pollinator Plot Blog

weekly entries

Welcome to our page! In these blogs we will provide weekly updates regarding the progress of our summer 2021 pollinator plot research.

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Pilot Entry: SATURDAY, June 12th 2021 by Ashley Arons 

As the second official week of our project comes to a close I wanted to share a few of the exciting things that we have been working on!

Garden Updates:

Wackin’ Weeds – 

The first thing you should know about garden work, is that it is indeed work! This past week I’ve found that the best times to weed the Pollinator Plots are after a good bit of rain, as the moisture makes the soil easier to work with. However, even with a couple hours of what I like to call weeding yoga, there are still a lot of little green unwanteds trying to take over! I have two hypothesis I want to try out here: I could either let them grow a bit bigger in hopes that they’d be easier to individually pull on a later day, or I could use my handy dandy trovel to scrape ’em out. I reckon I’ll test this on a couple of the beds to see which method is more effective. Never-the-less, weeding is important to keep up with, otherwise all that planting will have been for naught!

Tarps Can be Tubular –

Before you can tarp a bed full of cover crop, you have to cut down the pre-existing plant matter! So last week Dani and I had the opportunity of learning how to use a scythe (shoutout to Dr. Mariola for the many tutorials) and I recommend to everyone reading this to give it a try sometime! This week, however, I covered the southernmost beds and aisle with a 60′ x 6′ and 60′ x 3′ tarp respectfully, and weighed it down with a few dozen bricks. As the tarps are pretty long, it’s important to keep them from flying away. When I was securing the tarp, I happened across this spider (an unfortunate experience for those with casual arachnophobia) and I thought I would share a picture. For any spider-lovers out there, enjoy!

(No spiders were harmed.)

New Plants Soon –

Initially the addition of the tarp was intended to prepare the two beds for a fall planting, but upon the realization that the Pine Patch would be too small to add another 100 plants (that will be arriving today hopefully) we decided to revisit our plan. Stay tuned for a tarp reveal because once they’re uncovered, the beds will need to be tilled! In other plant news, the natives that were planted back in May have been doing generally well, which is great. Exceptions include a few Blue False Indigo, and Whorled Milkweed, which appear to have captured the interests of our resident bunny (and perhaps groundhog) friends.

Website Design:

Interweb Engagement –

Despite my limited experience in designing websites and using WordPress, I have enjoyed the challenge of building this virtual hang out space! As a student who is pursuing a studio art minor, I find that this project has been especially engaging because there are different aspects that I can channel my creativity into that I didn’t know where possible before. I am excited to see how this page develops and I hope you join me in the adventure that is website design!

Comments or Concerns?

If you have any suggestions for ways this website could be improved upon or more streamlined, please don’t hesitate to reach out and suggest a nudge in the right direction at my school email: aarons23@wooster.edu

iNaturalist:

Bees & Buds –

I’m very happy to announce that our very own iNaturalist Page, CoW Pollinators and Plants, is officially up and running! I can’t lie, I need a bit more time to get used to pinning the critters we collect in our Pan traps, however I’m intrigued to get better at this new skill. If you visit our iNaturalist page and are impressed with our mini bee symposium, you’ll notice that Emily (Woo ’24) and Ren (Woo ’22) are our current certified bee photographers! Be(e) sure to send some love their way for their hard work and dedication that goes into identifying all of our fuzzy little friends.

Identification –

Thus far, my bee identification skills are capped at the common names for about 3 of the 500 various species indigenous to Ohio. In the upcoming week I will be watching a fair number of webinars as to get used to putting the names to faces and I have my work cut out for me that’s for sure!

Bee Pictures to Brighten your Day:

Last but not least, I wanted to share some cute pictures of the bees my colleagues and I have spotted this past week!

Unsure of identification, torn between Leaf-cutting bee or Mason bee (Might be wrong)

Sweat Bee on an Echinacea pallida

 

If it has a Shiny Hiney then it is a Carpenter Bee!

Another Sweat bee, Courtesy of Emily Greenland!

 

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