What a difference a year makes

The summer-blooming showy goldenrod, being visited by a bee fly, was less abundant than the spring-blooming flowers. (Photo by Diana Robson)

One of the first papers on pollination I tried to publish was rejected because it contained data from only one field season. I withdrew the paper, and did another year of research. Why is having two years of data so important, you may ask?...

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I always feel like something's watching me

The curious cows at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve. (Photo by Diana Robson)

I usually do field work by myself, but sometimes I get the feeling that I’m being watched. My main observers this year are the cows. The Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve, protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), is sustainably...

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Observing the pollinators of the prairie

Prairie crocus finishes flowering in early May (Photo by Diana Robson)

Summer is in full bloom at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve, and once again, I’m studying pollinators at this Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property, just south of Canadian Forces Base Shilo in Manitoba. Last year I made the mistake of...

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Pollinating the prairies

A parasitic fly pollinating a hairy golden aster (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

It was with some sadness that I finished my last field work of the season at Yellow Quill Prairie. It will be many long, cold months before I get to go out again. However, I was eager to get back to the office to crunch some numbers and see how...

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The mystery of the moving cow pie

This lovely little mushroom was growing in an old cow pie (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Usually cow pies are extremely uninteresting features of a prairie landscape (and one to usually avoid) but this month something funny was happening with them at the Nature Conservancy of Canada's Yellow Quill Prairie that made me look twice. For...

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Getting down at the Yellow Quill Prairie

The Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve on a sunny day (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Last week I started my field season by getting down on my hands and knees to collect plants and pollinators at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve south of Brandon, which is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. While that may not...

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Fescue findings

A bumblebee on field locoweed. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

A bumblebee on field locoweed. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

As I near the end of my two years of pollinator research in the fescue prairie, I’ve been wondering what it all means. In particular I’ve been thinking about how the pollinator communities in fescue prairies are different than in the...

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Close encounters of the wild kind

A black bear located where I normally like to see them: far away. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

A black bear located where I normally like to see them: far away. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

This summer, I spent a good chunk of my field trips to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) fescue prairie preserves being bear-anoid. Although I saw several black bears last year, they were all solitary and a fair distance away....

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How do I love the prairie? Let me count the ways

All the ticks at the Elk Glen preserve lined up on Diana's knee for one of her famous airplane rides.(Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

All the ticks at the Elk Glen preserve lined up on Diana's knee for one of her famous airplane rides. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Once again I will be spending a few weeks out at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s fescue prairie preserves south of Riding Mountain National Park, studying plant-pollinator interactions. The beginning of June marked my first trip of the...

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Where have all the pollinators gone?

Research site (Photo by Diana Robson)

Cold, cloudy weather at the preserves in September meant that most of the pollinators just stayed home. (Photo by Diana Robson)

After a summer filled with ticks, mosquitoes and biting flies, I was ready for a pest-free pollinator survey at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties near Riding Mountain National Park this September. Autumn field work can be quite...

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