Of the many Spike-related questions asked by visitors this week, our favorite came from 8-year-old Prairie! In the video below, Prairie wants to know, in essence, if she can transport Spike’s malodorous odor from the Garden to her classroom.
Good question, Prairie!
Conservation scientist Dr. Shannon Still’s has a fascinating response. Dr. Still will attempt to pollinate Spike’s flowers during bloom with pollen shared by our friends from The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, and Denver Botanic Gardens.
Prairie, your experiment with scent would make a great science project! If you come to the Garden on the night Spike blooms, perhaps you’ll get to see Dr. Still working on “Operation Pollination.” Introduce yourself if you’re there!
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This last month has been great. We surveyed a large area for treatment, and found little to no activity, which, while that may sound dull, is actually a good thing. Now pinyon-juniper treatment can go on uninterrupted without the risk of endangering wildlife in the area. We also made a lot of progress in our Seeds of Success collections, and were able to lend a hand to the CLM interns in the Richfield office on a couple of their collections.
Yet, the coup de grace of the whole month was the prairie dog work we got to do with the Cedar City Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The first step was laying plague vaccine at a few of our sites. Then we set traps and caught at a site with prairie dogs previously vaccinated. Once vaccinated we anesthetized them and collected, blood, hair, and flea samples. The hands-on work was phenomenal and easily one of the best things I’ve done this season.