It is mind blowing to think that My team and I only have about 3.5 weeks left with SOS East. During the past month we have been traveling almost every week trying to gather as many seeds as possible. It has finally begun to feel like things are winding down with only 1 more week of collecting trips left. During this past week my coworker and I traveled to 6 sites around Maryland and Virginia. With a list of places and species to look for we set out to make as many collections as possible, but our hopes were met with a lot of mowing and unforeseen circumstances. At more than half of our sites, fields that we were planning to collect from were mowed to the ground. It seems that the moment November hits everyone grabs their lawn mowers and hits every field possible. However, with all of our newly handed free time, we got to walk around and do some exploring at locations we had not looked around yet. We got to take our time and key out new species and learn some new plants and collect species we would have not seen otherwise.
Our trip ended with a long morning collecting Spartina cynosuroides and Distchlis spicata at a beautiful salt marsh that I had not yet been to at York River State Park in Virginia. While it did not feel like fall at all (it was about 80 degrees out and boy it felt even hotter than that), it was a wonderful productive morning in a setting I love the most. When we arrived back at home base (North Carolina Botanical Garden) we realized that we had our work cut out for us the following week. The room was almost bursting at the seams with seeds and our team’s hard work really showed. As overwhelmed as I was about the amount of work we have in terms of seed cleaning and shipping, I was so happy with how much we have collected and really felt like we all have played a role in helping to restore these extremely important ecosystems.