Friday, May 4, 2012

Wednesday May 2 Morning Bad Weather=Grizzly

Headed out to Gardiner Basin to collect data in the AM and the weather turned nasty. So we decided to head out to look for Grizzlies. Had heard that there had been one hanging out at an appropriately named site, Grizzly Lake. We had success. Watched this Grizz graze for about an hour. Turned around and headed back to GB and the weather had improved.

We worked on quantifying the establishment of eight native species that were no-till drill planted last October into and area that had been intentionally burned. We used a PVC frame with a grid of string to count the number of squares that had the native species of interest in them and we also counted Alyssum desertorum, our invasive weed. Early take home is that some species are doing well and others not so much. But Alyssum doesn't seem to be negatively effecting establishment.

We made two kinds of lasagna for dinner, Spinach and meat (spicy Italian sausage and Montana beef).
We are using a Facebook page too. It's easier to update from the field but with less detail.
Anyone can see it, you don't have to login to Facebook to view the page.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Late update for April 30-May 1.

April 30: We got up early (5:30AM departure) to go wildlife spotting. We saw plenty of bison, elk, and pronghorn antelope but no wolves or grizzlies. Stopped by the Yellowstone Center for Resources to pick up bear spray and vests then headed down to Gardiner Basin to start sampling. It was windy but not too cold.
Collected soil cores at Cinnabar, Stevens Creek, Reese Creek, and the native Remnant to test a  new soil respiration method. On the way back to the lodge we saw a herd of Bighorn Sheep rams.

May1: Slept in a little later and met up with Doug Frank from Syracuse University and his field technician Pete at the Yellowstone Center for Resources at Mammoth Hot Springs. We headed out to the Lamar Valley to haul fencing for animal exclosures. The National Park Service is interested in determining what the effect of increased numbers of bison in the park is having  on grassland productivity in the Northern Winter Range. The Lamar site is a mesic (moist) site and we hauled fencing to a xeric (dry) site near Crystal Creek.
Collected more cores from Cinnabar for a urea titration experiment. For dinner we had stir fry with rice noodles.