Larry Weber

©Lisa Johnson

Spiders ballooning, raptors migrating, some lingering butterflies and the World Series moths fluttering ...

And all this before Larry Weber's favorite season of aut-win!

©Tara Smith, Wildwoods. Used with permission.

A couple of sick, skinny peregrine falcons have been brought into Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation recently ... one didn't live to be transported to The Raptor Center but the one pictured at left did.

©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

"I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw." ~ Wm. Shakespeare, "Hamlet"

Whether or not Hamlet had spent any time at Hawk Ridge is a question for another time, but experienced birders know a northwesterly wind is best for seeing birds at what has become an internationally-recognized place to see migration.

© Dorian [via Flickr]

Larry Weber, educator, author and naturalist, talks about his observations in nature this week, including light from the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, and from glowworms who are feeding before they bed down for winter.  Despite the warm temps of late the fall foliage is showing some brilliant yellows and reds.  Larry has seen woolly bear caterpillars and an eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly.  The fog yesterday also provided a brilliant showing of spider webs. 

© Superior National Forest [via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber observes the terrific autumnal conditions this morning, including aerial spider webs in the trees, bird migrations (robins, Canada geese, crows, flickers, warblers, et al.), young coyotes, newly-independent fawns, and butterflies.  Rainfall totals are the 13th highest on record (dating back to 18701), five inches above normal.  Wasps and hornets are gathering on goldenrod as they start to seek winter homes.  Late blooms include sunflowers, aster. Blackberries are still on hand, and the first phase of fall leaves are beginning to appear.

Between the fall wildflowers, the 45 different kinds of goldenrod that grow in Minnesota and the blackberries, suffice it to say that when he's out driving, Larry Weber's attention is everywhere BUT the road!

©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

Special guest star Sparky Stensaas sits in for Larry Weber this morning, and talks about one of Larry's favorite plants: the much-maligned goldenrod.

For one thing, Larry says most people aren't allergic to goldenrod; they're allergic to ragweed.

Jared Smith [via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber observes that so many things are happening in nature this week, from the mushrooms down low to the ground all the way up to the Perseids and the upcoming solar eclipse.  The rainfall totals for August (and the summer) are above normal. The hawks and ospreys will soon be on the move over Duluth, many insects are maturing, and the blackberries are ripening too.

Eclipse 2017/NASA

Larry Weber says the difference between viewing a total eclipse and a partial eclipse is - literally - the difference between night and day.

But if a trip to the totality isn't in your plans, there are lots of ways to enjoy the eclipse, stay safe and even a helpful list of places who might be able to set you up with good eclipse-viewing optics.

Goddard Science Visualization Studio, NASA

First, we've got a full moon August 7.  Then the Perseid meteor shower August 11-13.

Then the "eclipse of the century" on August 21, 2017.

No wonder Larry Weber thinks August is awesome!

©Bryan French. Used with permission.

Larry Weber's already looking forward to what he calls "Awesome August," but he's not done enjoying the cricket-sized little spring peepers, wood frogs and American toads yet, either.

And milkweed and fireweed, he says, "own July."

liz west [Via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber talks about his many finds this week, including Indian pipe (thriving in shady woods), basswood trees that are in bloom, mushrooms, and Queen Anne's Lace, blooming in northwestern Wisconsin.  Many songbirds are quieting down now that the fledglings are leaving the nest, although goldfinches are only now starting to nest.  Young frogs are maturing, fawns and bear cubs are out exploring with their mothers, and masses of mayflies are emerging to briefly breed before they die.

Courtney Celley/USFWS

Duluth set an all-time record for heat back on July 13th, 1936 (106 degrees - down by the lake, mind you)  but this year (yesterday) we barely crept to 57 degrees.

Berries and flowers and mushrooms, oh my - and let us not forget milkweed.

©John Krumm. Used with permission.

Temps like we've had the past few days remind us Duluth almost never gets hot.

But Larry Weber reminds us that 81 years ago, Duluth had a seven-day stretch of temperatures in the 90s or hotter, and three times the mercury hit 100 or above.

And if that's not bad enough, back in 1936, they were taking temperatures down by the lake.  Seriously.

©Friends of the Sax-Zim Bog

Even though the second half of the month was cooler than the first half, we still wound up with a slightly-warmer-than-normal June.

Add an inch more precipitation than usual (especially when places to the west of us are suffering through a drought), a few mushrooms and a bunch of butterflies and Larry Weber is a happy man!

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