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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Snowshoe hares and squirrels are dancing; foxes, wolves and coyotes are singing ... and as always, Larry Weber is the head cheerleader.

©2011 Pupparazzi-Companion Animal Photography

We're celebrating the 20th anniversary of -60 below in Tower, MN this coming week!

JLS Photography - Alaska/Flickr

Don't let them begin the benign, let it snow

Let the clippers of winter dip south and begin to deep-freeze me

Let the windchills that stuttered my heart continue to seize me

And we suddenly know, it's El Nino we're in

When they begin the benign....

(with apologies to Cole Porter)

BLUETIGER64/Flickr

Only Larry Weber could see -20 temperatures as an aid to mindfulness and "being in the moment."

Photo by Colleen Bowen

1959.  One of the best-selling cars in the US was the "fins and flash" Ford Fairlane.

Kids were rockin' 'round the clock to Bobby Darin, Frankie Avalon, the Platters, the Coasters ... and more than a few Northland teens had seen Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper at the Winter Dance Party  in January at the Duluth Armory.

Folks shopped at Kresge's or Oreck's Department Store or Glass Block downtown and brought home treats from the Danish Bakery on the west end.

Photo by Kurt Bauschardt (flickr)

Larry comments on our unseasonably warm December we've experienced (with no sub-zero temps reported by the NOAA!) in part due to the abundance of cloudy days so far this winter.  Tomorrow is perihelion, when the earth will be at its closest point to the sun in its annual revolution.

Every year, on the last Backyard Almanac of December, Larry Weber makes a request that has nothing to do phenology or the natural world: he just wants to hear John McCutcheon's song, "Christmas in the Trenches."  So this year, we decided to make some additional information about the song - and the story behind it - clickable for other fans.

Larry Weber's renamed the season: "Desummber." 

Brian Moran/Flickr

Disappointed in the weather?

Larry Weber says turn your eyes to the skies instead.

©Bryan French. Used with permission.

Naturalist Larry Weber continues to hold out hope for what he calls a "healthy November" ... his heart soars with each freeze, but plummets again with each thaw.  So far, November is averaging about ten degrees above normal.

Vincent Fournier/TBWA Paris

Larry Weber says there are four ways to survive winter:

  1. Migrate
  2. Hibernate
  3.  Remain active
  4. Lay eggs and die

 Tracks in the Wild, a Minnesota Book Award winner in 1994, has been reissued by the University of Minnesota Press.

Turns out, it's a perfect companion to Larry Weber's Backyard Almanac, and its author/illustrator, Northland gem Betsy Bowen, shares his passion for getting outdoors to see what's what.

©Bryan French. Used with permission.

No frost, no ice,
No snow, no cold

November!

- adapted for November 2015 by Larry Weber, with apologies to Thomas Hood!

Erin Welch

Who knew November was one of the best months for seeing the aurora?  Just another reason to love Larry Weber and Backyard Almanac! 

Thorsburg Photography

Larry Weber continues to extoll the virtues of aut-win, his name for the time of year after the leaves are off the trees but before the snow falls. 

And he reminds us that after this weekend, sunset will be coming a lot sooner.

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