Life in Carson City has been ‘blooming’ the past few weeks. With warm weather and sunny days, the beginning of spring is well under way. Trees are blossoming, birds are singing, and little green plants are emerging from the ground. While we wait for the field season to ‘spring’ into action, us interns at the Carson City District Office are catching up on training, planning for the field season, and sorting through the backlog of plant specimens waiting to be mounted, labelled, and put into their rightful folders in the herbarium.
I feel as though I am learning the local flora in a backwards fashion. As I process the various plant specimens collected over the past few years, I am starting to see similarities within the families as well as the subtle differences between species. I witness the change in the plants through the season as I find specimens collected in different months. So, while the plants are beginning their life cycles for the year outside, I am learning how to recognize them through all seasons. I only hope I will be able to recognize familiar friends once the field season is in full swing!
While many days have been spent in the office, we have had a few days outdoors working on plans for restoration and weed management projects. We visited one fire rehabilitation area to scout for mountain mahogany replanting sites. Another fire rehabilitation area had a tree planting operation in the works, so we went to learn how to plant properly so our mountain mahogany seedlings will do well at the first site. While at our second site, we noted the presence of the noxious weeds, Medusa head and cheat grass, with the hope of returning to do some noxious weed management later in the season.
Many, many projects are building momentum for the field season, but we must content ourselves for now with learning backwards while we look forward to the explosive and exciting field season to come.