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Field Day with Orchids

Yesterday some of the team set out for a field trip: we counted Western prairie fringed orchids (Platanthera praeclara) in wet prairie. We left at 6 am and drove 3 hours to the Pembina Trail Preserve. The prairie was much wetter than I expected; the water went as deep enough to reach your lower caf muscles. Fortunately, Gretel told us to come prepared with rubber boots. The day was much longer than she and Stuart expected. There were more than 800 orchids within two different areas where we counted. This was the biggest year the Western prairie fringed orchid has seen within 5 years! We ended the day with cool smoothies and a yummy Mexican dinner in Pelican Rapids.