On Nature’s Schedule

The northeast faced a cold winter this past year with record breaking snowfall, some of which still persists in our fare city of Boston. A harsh season can have major impacts on plant communities, including damage to the plants themselves as well as delaying flowering and fruiting.

To collect enough seed for the Seeds of Success program, our team must reach plants at the peak of their fruiting season. This requires our team to keep a keen eye on the dozens of species we work with and how each population is developing.

As colleagues in the south and out west report that their seed collections have started, we closely watch our forests and salt marshes for sign of ripening seeds. Mother nature does not abide by our schedules and all we can do is to prepare and observe so that we are ready when the time is right.

The anticipation is building as our fieldwork increases and we are very mindful of potential opportunities to collect viable seeds. It is still too early to tell how the past winter will effect this season’s seed collection. ┬áBut with the current long, hot days, the biting cold of early winter seems long ago and there is huge amount of work to be done before the end of this work season.

Clear skies and a fresh breeze (but no ripe seed) greeted us at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, ME

Clear skies and a fresh breeze (but no ripe seed) greeted us at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, ME

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