Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Can See the Finish Line!

My study plant, Cordylanthus palmatus (with salt crystals on its leaves)

After much debate, my thesis will be on the germination of one species (not two or three, as previously thought): Cordylanthus palmatus (palmate-bracted bird's beak). It's a hemi-parasitic plant that grows on the edges of seasonal pools in the alkaline/saline grasslands of the Great Central Valley, CA (it's a mouthful, I know).

C. palmatus seedling (little, light green guy), growing alongside its potential host, salt grass (Distichlis spicata)

And here's the really big news: I think I might actually graduate soon! After a big meeting with my thesis committee a few months ago, I now have a time line and a date: July 22nd! Eeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

A seasonal wetland pool at my study site in Woodland, CA.

Yes, you read correctly. Eek. The finished product isn't due to the Office of Graduate Studies until September 8th, but my deadline for the first draft (which must be as ready-to-go as possible) is July 22nd. After that date I am going to Greece for two weeks and my advisors get to tear my thesis to shreds.

Bird's beak seedlings in the greenhouse

So the next two months are going to be jammed-packed with work. But I'll be around, everyone needs a break. In fact, I'm spending the next four days in Napa visiting Jaja and getting work done in the quiet house on Inglewood Ave (I swear).

Seedlings in April

These photos were taken on my last couple of trips out to my study site (April and May). The plants are just seedlings now, they grow all summer and flower in the fall.

Big, flowering plants in the greenhouse

Wish me luck!

The palmately lobed floral bracts and beak-shaped flowers that give this plant its common name

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