Today I was finally able to start mounting my mint plant samples that we had collected from the field earlier this month. It was great to be able to see how all of my identification work had come together! Aside from the mint species that I had identified, there were so many other plants from past Taos Botany courses that needed to be mounted as well. Each one had to be marked with the scientific name, the date when it was found, the location it was extracted from, and the name of the person who found it. Needless to say, the process became a bit tedious, but I was able to get the job done.
My classmate Jewel had more to identify, since her research is about the different types of trees found in north-central New Mexico. There were so many different mounts laid out in front of her, I thought she would never be finished. But we each kept up our momentum from the encouragement we received from Dr. Ubelaker.
He would pass by every now and then to see how we were progressing and answer any questions we had about how to correctly label the identification card for each plant sample. He was so impressed with how well we were working, that he decided to have us clean out the Botany lab as well. There must have been decades’ worth of old plant presses, mounts, identification labels, newspapers, and manuscripts in there! Just from a quick glance, I could tell that cleaning out the lab would be at least a weeklong project.
After mounting, we spent the rest of the day running errands. We stopped by two thrift stores to donate old televisions and an old typewriter. Then, we stopped by Dr. Ubelaker’s house so he could water his plants. Today was very productive, and with time winding down, I’m sure I will be able to squeeze in a few more things before leaving Taos.