I'm going to be completely honest about this. Plant identification is hard. It's harder when you've never seen most of the 100+ species out in your plots before, and even better when most of them are still in a vegetative state. It's hardest when you're working from a dichotomous key with no pictures and laden with far too much Latin.
I am not a botanist. I've never had the desire to be a botanist. Plant morphology and character keys have never been my forte, nor my interest. I still don't find it interesting. But it's suddenly becoming the most useful skill for this project, and I'm completely lost.
The sheer number of different grasses, most of which, as far as I can tell, are not supposed to be flowering yet, boggles the mind. I look up plants from the list of those established by a botanist who visited these plots a few years ago, and lo and behold, I can't match my specimens to any previously identified. I have discovered a completely new species!
More likely, though, I've just misidentified something. Again.