Did You See That?
Are you observant? If you are, you might be interested in helping us out with our phenological calendar. Phe-nol-o-gy is the study of changes in plants and animals as they respond to weather, climate, and the seasons. Each spring we anxiously await the first returning robin in the hope of warmer weather. That is a phenological event. It happens every year but the return date depends a lot on the weather. Migration and flowering are two more examples of phenological events.
Look around for the following seasonal/phenological changes and email EEK! when you
notice any of the following...
- Dragonflies and damselflies dart over ponds and around wetlands.
- Cicadas buzz on warm afternoons.
- Watch for sulfur butterflies gathering around puddles - butterfly watching is at its best this month.
- Acorns fall from trees, providing meals for hungry wood ducks, deer, and turkeys.
- The prairie's purple coneflower and big bluestem are in bloom.
- Jewelweed's orange blossoms can be found in damp areas. When this "touch-me-not" has ripened, help send the seeds shooting by simply touching a bulging seed pod. They are quicker than the eye!
- Thirteen-lined ground squirrels fatten up as they prepare for hibernation.
- The last of the wild blackberries are ripening awaiting hungry hikers and bears to strip them from the vine.
- Wood duck families can be seen floating along rivers and ponds near overhanging branches and hollow standing trees.
- Listen for crickets singing in the evening air.
- Later this month warblers, shorebirds, and nighthawks begin to migrate south. The first hint of fall is in the air.