Our final collecting day. We packed up and began heading from home.
We spent about an hour alongside the road in the gorge of the Owahanga River. Peter was pleased to add several new mosses, including some that have a liking for calcareous substrates. We were disappointed to find the invasive horsetail Equisetum arvense well established; it had not been previously collected from the area.
Our final stop was at a covenant in the Waihoki Valley, where we added several forest species not seen on Day 3.
After lunch we headed for home. Back at Te Papa and in our specimen preparation room, Carlos and I pressed the day’s collection, and put all of the specimens (c. 400) into our dryer (about 30 degrees celsius). There they will stay for the next week or so, tightly pressed so that they dry flat.
After drying, the specimens are frozen for a week as a quarantine measure before being brought into the main collection area. We don’t want to introduce any herbivorous insects!
Over the coming months, we will confirm identifications, formally accession and database the specimens, secure them with tape onto archival card (for the bigger plants) or house them in archival envelopes (for the mosses and liverworts), and finally file them away in the collection. Eventually you’ll be able to see those with associated photos on Collections Online.