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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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.

©lisa johnson/Thorsburg Photography

    Less than half the normal amount of rain for May this year?

  But is it really fair to make up the deficit over a holiday weekend??

Matt Stratmoen/Flickr

Larry runs down the numbers for us on our cooler-than-usual May so far ... and he and Laura Erickson were charmed by the same bird this week.

ashoutofdoors.blogspot.com

Larry Weber spent the week teaching a Master Naturalist class at the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center and trekking his students into the woods to see spring ephemerals, warblers, budding trees and mosquitos - the larval and pupal forms thereof.

Teresa Boardman/Flickr

Tra-la!  It's May!  And Larry Weber reports the spring ephemerals are in full bloom and Jay Cooke State Park is the place to see them.

Michael Kensinger, Jeff Hahn

For the first time in 14 months - since February 2015 - we've had a month that's cooler than normal.

Ian Griffiths/Flickr

Frogs are calling, red maples are flowering, painted turtles are crowding logs to bask in the (scarce) sun ... 

and it's raining and cold.  Again.

Laurette.C/Flickr, Web MD LLC.

The first wildflowers are in bloom! Hepatica gets its name from the Greek hepar, for 'liver' referring to the shape of the leaves.  And of course it's an easy intellectual jump from there that the plant would be good for treating liver ailments.

Duck date: this photo was taken just after the mallard drake showcased one of his smooth moves for the hen.  Larry says unique courtship displays help prevent cross-species breeding: who woulda thunk it?

Seabrooke Leckie/Flickr

Larry Weber says the brakes Mother Nature put on spring so far this month are a three-part blessing:

1) the snow lessens the danger of fire, which is usually a problem in April

2) the snow slows down the ticks, which also begin to create problems in April

3) the wet snows create a lot of moisture which flows into vernal ponds, making frogs - and Larry - very happy!

Fyn Kynd Photography/Flickr

Eric Chandler sits in for Larry this week with a story about three generations enjoying the songs of the woodcock at dusk ... and hanging out with dad.

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