Backyard Almanac

Phenology with local naturalist Larry Weber every Friday morning at 8:20 on Northland Morning. Have a question for Larry Weber? Email us and you might hear his answer on the show!

 

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Animal Tracks in Snow
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Today Larry Weber talks about recent weather and "gray November" has proven to be true this month.

He also gives a list of Nothern birds he has seen around as well as animal tracks in the snow.   

     

Lisa Johnson

A year ago today, Duluth broke the record high temperature with 64 degrees.

Today, the National Weather Service reports a new low temperature for November 10 with -5.

If you don't decide to make tracks somewhere warmer, Larry Weber says you should get outside and LOOK AT tracks.

Carron Brown/Flickr

The leaves have turned, snowshoe hares are turning and clocks will be turned this weekend.

October's Bright Blue Weather

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
        By twos and twos together,
    And count like misers, hour by hour,
        October's bright blue weather.

O suns and skies and flowers of June,
        Count all your boasts together,
    Love loveth best of all the year
        October's bright blue weather.

         ~Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

©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.

©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

Photo-naturalist Sparky Stensaas joins us as guest host of Backyard Almanac this morning, and brings us a story you probably won't hear over the breakfast table.

And there's a good reason for that.

It's Jaegerfest at Wisconsin Point this weekend!  Find out more about all the events here!

© 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.

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