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Taken on Saturday, 21 September 2013, when friends Sandy and Janet and I joined a group of people from Medicine Hat College to drive a long way across the prairie in SE Alberta to an area called the Pinhorn Grazing Lease. Yucca plants, which are not found in Alberta, had been discovered there and were being closely monitored. They spent a few hours counting every single plant and clone, how many new clones, how many old ones, how many seedpods and how many tiny exit holes from a certain insect were in each pod. It was interesting to find quite a few Seven-spotted Ladybugs huddled inside some of the older, more open pods that had split. Most of the plants were in enclosed "cages", the largest of which could be entered. The GPS location was recorded for every plant, and careful notes were made. Very tedious work, and I commend everyone for doing this. Have to admit that I wandered the area with my camera, photographing the plants in various stages and the surrounding scenery. We were so lucky because two of the plants were in a second bloom, whereas all the other plants had seedpods. Couldn't get a decent photo of the flowers, as there were just too many old stalks in the way, but I did add one to my album for the area ages ago. It was a treat to be able to see Yucca flowers, and a surprise for the folks from the College. We aren't sure how these plants got where they are, but it's possible that they were brought north by Native Americans. We were very close to the border with the US and could see the beautiful Sweetgrass Hills rising from the flat prairie in the distance. A very interesting day for us and one that we were so lucky to experience.
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