Hey gang, here's a tip if anyone's interested.
Sometimes the cross tag gets seperated from the pod before the pod matures. My notebook will show the cross, there's a pod (or several pods) on the stalk, but there's no cross tag. This is what I've been doing to combat loss of ID when the tag disappears. It's also a good way to indicate bee pods I've already spotted.
After bloom season, when I'm going through the withdrawls, I start collecting the tags from the failed crosses. As I'm doing that I make a notation right in the cross notes that a pod has formed, and "etch" the cross number onto the pod itself with a pen.
The idea is to scar the flesh of the pod so that you have a clearly legible number even. In order to do this you have to break the "onion skin" outter layer of the pod and cut the "juicy" inner part. You want the mark to "bleed" a little water.
So far the best pen is a "fine" point- like an RSVP. I've also used, a fine point Sharpie, a medium point ball pen, the corner of one of the cross tags I picked up that day, and a fingernail. Obviously, the fingernail is tricky. The medium point pen tends to bunch the flesh which leads to a less crisp marking. The fine point sharpie was easier to use, but didn't damage the skin enough to create scarring- it still leaves a nice impression.
Naturally, you want to have a second pen on hand if you intend to do any writing- that or plenty of paper and patience- since the pod flesh will clog the pen point.
The first shot is a freshly marked "bee" pod on Returning Chameleon- this one all I had was a fingernail. The second shot is the goal, a highly legible mark that isn't going to get seperated from the pod.
I know I've mentioned this before... but visuals are always nice.