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!

 

Ways to Connect

In Larry's last report of the summer (next Thursday marks the equinox and the start of fall), he talks about the warmer- and wetter-than-average weather, glow worms, "beard fungus" and the joys of Hawk Ridge.

 

Paul VerDerWerf [via Flickr]

After an abundance of rain in recent days, naturalist Larry Weber says the weekend should be a fine time to get out and find mushrooms.  Late summer and early fall brings the beginning of fall colors, and many birds are starting to take wing, including hawks, flickers, blue jays, thrushes and turkeys. Even as temps start to turn cooler, many insects are still abundant, including green darner dragonflies, bees and butterflies. Larry has been hearing spring peepers and gray tree frogs in the woods, and the other day witnessed a new baby snapping turtle searching for the water.

Bill Damon/Flickr

Larry Weber is perhaps the only person to get distracted from the pursuit of blackberries, just to watch insects enjoying goldenrod.

Larry Weber says purple wildflowers abound in nature right now.

The Northland Morning host is inclined to believe that's a nod to her NFL football team, but the Northland Morning host is a little funny that way.

Kevin Bolton [via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber observes that, as the days grow shorter (now just 14 hours of daylight), many birds are on the move, including large families of warblers ("warbler waves"), raptors, geese, and nighthawks. The rain has brought out many mushrooms. Butterflies are on the scene, and so are cicadas, katydids and grasshoppers, and this means that spiders are on the hunt for insects! In plant life, fall flowers are blooming -- goldenrod, asters, and sunflowers (including Joe-Pye weed).

Gabriel F.W. Koch [via Flickr]

Even though the fog and cloud cover over the past few days have blocked our ability to see the Perseid meteor showers, the fog has highlighted spider webs beautifully. 

Lisa Johnson

Folks in Larry Weber's Minnesota Master Naturalist class don't sit around the campfire telling scary stories ... they go out after dusk looking for spiders and spider webs instead.

Lisa Johnson

When some radio show hosts spend a few days camping at his Jay Cooke State Park stomping grounds, naturalist Larry Weber gets stuck trying to explain what they've seen and photographed.

©Christopher Harwood

"And when you smile for the camera
I know I'll love you better...."

~ Peg, written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen

Larry Weber says recent rains have resulted in a wealth of "photogenic mushrooms," wildflowers are everywhere you look (learn more about the story behind the name of Joe-Pye weeds here) and everything from scarlet tanagers to summer frogs to the full moon are out to catch your eyes and ears.

Back in 1936 over a ten day period in July, Duluth set seven record high temperatures that still stand - including 106 on July 13.

And that was back in the days when they took the temperature readings down by the lake.

Uff-da.

Bird eggs hatching
Lisa Johnson

Fireflies are out, so are baby mammals, insects, and the things that eat insects.

And Larry Weber says July is the month of fledglings.

© Windslash (via flickr)

Last-minute spring rainstorms ushered in our first week of summer.  Animals are busy: fireflies are out, some breeding birds are beginning their second brood, particularly robins and phoebes. Gray tree fogs are still making noise, and summer will also bring the calls of mink frogs and green frogs.  Turtles, butterflies and some cicadas are emerging as well.

J. Stephen Conn/Flickr

Larry Weber joins us from northeastern Nebraska this morning.  500 miles south of Duluth,  the berries that are just blooming here are ripe there.  In other words ... Larry is joining us from summer.

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union

Chances are Larry Weber is keeping paper records - he's old-school like that - but he's been a busy fellow regardless this week.

For more information on the Minnesota DNR's breeding bird survey, start here

For more information on the Minnesota Frog and Toad Calling Survey (there are even recordings you can listen to!), click here.

Larry Weber on our rainy season: two-thirds of all the precipitation we get comes between May and September ... and most of that comes in June.

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