With my first week at Capulin in the books, I have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to be spending the summer. For the past few years, people in my position have worked hard to create a pollen identification guide for the local plants. They have also captured a lot of hummingbirds and collected pollen off of them to determine what sorts of plants they have been feeding from over the course of their migration. I get to be the one to put those things together. I spent much of my week learning the differences between the different types of pollen from both the collected slides and the PDF ID library. Once I felt I had a pretty good handle on that, I began digging into the pollen slides collected from the hummingbirds, combing through each under the microscope and identifying what pollen is present in and what abundance.
Of course, if I don’t want to look under the scope for a little while, Capulin has some pretty incredible hiking and views that make it worth it. Being from the Great Lakes region, I’m also fascinated by the wildlife out here. The other day, a rattlesnake was sunbathing just outside my yurt, which I was stoked about. I was very excited to see some cool snakes out here and that’s the first rattler I’ve seen in the wild. I’m looking forward to seeing a scorpion next.
There are also a few medians in the parking lot at Capulin that could use some beautification. Currently they are covered in weeds and grasses. By the end of the summer, the resource crew and I will have hopefully turned it into a beautiful pollinator garden using an abundance of native wildflower seeds.