Well, at this point in the year, many other CLM interns are wrapping up their internship. However here in the Chihuahuan Desert, our seed season is just beginning to ramp up. Usually the desert has a monsoon season with heavy rains in the summer, but this year the monsoons came in August, which is later than normal. We were able to watch the desert transform practically overnight from the dry, dusty landscape to bursts of blooms. In particular, we have been seeing a TON of Verbesina enceloides. We were also able to make some other fun collections this month like Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow), Gaillardia pinnatafida, and Thelsperma megapotacium.
Luckily these collections were in beautiful locations in the foothills of the Guadalupe Mountains! The grasses around here like Aristida purpurea, Bouteloua curtipendula, Setaria leucopia, and Sporobolus airoides have been seeding lately as well.
Earlier this month, we were able to attend the New Mexico Native Plant Society Conference in Silver City, NM. This was a weekend of fun, learning, and meeting lots of people who care deeply about the environment and native plants. We were able to present posters about some of our projects as Seeds of Success interns during the informational sessions. There were also field trips where we were able to see more of southwest New Mexico. Silver City is located conveniently close to the Gila National Forest and City of Rocks State Park, which were full of diverse plant species – and some I recognized from the Chihuahuan desert!
Another highlight of the trip was getting to meet our peers working in different Seeds of Success programs around the state.
We are now about half way through our internship, so I’m excited to see what these next couple of months in Carlsbad have in store for us!
Carlsbad Field Office, Bureau of Land Management