#Fieldstories: Brome, Bags, and Bullets

My research site is on public land, and is heavily invaded by brome sp. grasses.

This means that
1) my socks/boots/shoes/feet get DESTROYED when brome is seeding. which is now.
2) people target shoot at my sites

red brome The dominant non-native brome species is red brome (Bromus madritensis sp.  rubens) and these seeds are painfully sharp and love to bury their way into  socks/shoes/boots and stab at your feet while you try and survey.

My first solution was to just stop and pick out the little daggers but that is time  consuming and I have work to do

So, I needed to come up with another solution…

DSC00027DSC00025Bags on my feet! You might say it is an  interesting take on the #breadbag Senator Joni  Ernst was talking about earlier this year. Poor  graduate students cannot afford to replace  hiking boots when they get destroyed by  invasive grasses at their study sites so we  covered our hiking boots in bags to protect  them (and their feet)! It worked well, except for hills… no traction!

Also target shooting seemed to be a popular activity this weekend which is great for them but bad for me when they are shooting where I need to set up transects! This makes for interesting experimental setups as I move about the site avoiding lines of fire and trying to record areas that I will have to survey at another time due to occupation by target shooters. The season closes in a few days so it should be quieter and less dangerous soon.


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