22 Jul Beating the heat on the Prairie
Hey everyone, its Cesar here and this week has been pretty hectic for me up here on the Prairie. We are going through a heat wave right now and the temperature has risen up to triple digits up here, combine that with humidity and you got yourself a recipe for exhaustion. While this has hindered us here a bit, we are nevertheless still working and helping to keep the Prairie safe from invasive species while maintaining the ecosystem.
Our spraying time has been cut short, as we cannot spray pesticide if it gets over 90 degrees, so the mornings are usually occupied with that. However, this week I had the opportunity to work in areas I had never been to before and that have greatly helped me beat this heat. We have been mostly doing weedwacking and removal near riparian areas, and there is nothing better than feeling cold water when you are working during a very hot day. I had the great experience of working on a riparian survey on Dragonfly nymphs. Since dragonfly nymphs are aquatic, we conducted the survey on a creek here at the preserve known as Fox Creek. Since this season has been unusually wet according to the people who live we expected to find quite a bit of them. And we actually did! We managed to capture 18 nymphs during the 5 hour survey. Although that may not seem like much, it was over the expected number of 15 we had set, so we count it as a win. Working this survey along the creek was much needed refreshment during this week, as there is nothing better than going into cold water during a very hot day.
This week has been quite draining for me with the heat and humidity here at the Prairie. Living in the desert, I’m used to heat but not humidity, and that really zaps your strength over time. Nevertheless, it has been a great experience here at the preserve, working near water, doing surveys and giving house tours to visitors in our historic buildings. It has been a great experience so far, which will sadly come to an end soon. I only have 1 week left of this internship and back to the desert I will go. However, while it may be coming to a close it will be an experience that will stick with me.