July 18, 2012 More Point Framing Fun!
The weather today has been much more cooperative. When we left the cabin this morning we were greeted by a squirrel on the porch. He was happy just to sit there and stare at us while he finished his pinecone. Then we drove out to the site and walked out to a cool, but calm day that was good for point framing.
Elizabeth, Catherine, and myself got right to work. In fact the weather was so good to begin with that we tried to work two plots at a time, which had never been done before. So I took the field notebook and the two women set up the frames and began observing and calling out numbers and species of plants that were touching the wire.
We have 49 points to observe for each frame the two had to take turns calling out their information. I had to make sure that I was writing down the correct information for the right plot, which was on different pages in the notebook. It didn’t take us long to get a pretty good routine going. We had finished six plots in half the time that it usually takes before everyone needed a break.
We ate lunch and then I went off to take measurements for the well depths as well as the thaw depth in the ground. I was very amazed at how much the permafrost had melted since April. In April we could poke a rod into the ground about 4 to 8 centimeters before hitting the solid ice. Today I could force the rod down into the tundra up to 50 centimeters in some places! But I could still feel that hard layer of permafrost at the bottom. It feels as if you have hit concrete.
The plants are growing well in most plots and I can really begin to see some changes between the warming plots and the controls. I will try and take some photos tomorrow and talk about the changes in the journal since it is my last day in the field.