Friday, June 3, 2011

Monday Phenology: June 6, 2011

Posted by Kirk
Note: Weirdly this failed to auto-publish last week. Enjoy.

The warm summer sun rose this morning at 5:27 AM. On the solstice it will rise just two minutes earlier so we're pretty much already at our earliest sunrise. Sunset tonight will be at 8:56 PM. We still have 8 minutes to gain until our latest sunset which oddly occurs a few days AFTER the summer solstice.

Solar noon, the time when the sun is as high as it will get in the sky is actually at 1:11 pm today. Remember we shifted our clocks two months ago so high noon is no longer actually at noon as far as the sun is concerned. We'll receive the most intense sun today in the afternoon and this will compound with the building heat from earlier in the day. A heat advisory goes into effect at 3:00.

Due to last week's oddly timed holiday phenology report, this week's review starts on Wednesday.

Wednesday I saw my first of the year Tiger Swallowtail butterfly while down in the southwest metro.

Thursday There were just dragonflies EVERYWHERE. What an unbelievable emergence. I haven't seen clouds this thick in years. I didn't stop to do an exhaustive exam of the species but the bulk of them were basket tails. In the morning I opened my car door at work only to be greeted by a bird call I was sure I didn't know. I could see a little bird up at the top of the trees singing away but couldn't find my binoculars in my car. I ran inside to get another pair and when I came out it was gone. Going back and listening to recordings I'm 95% sure it was a Cerulean Warber. Arrrg. Crushing dip.

Friday migration is pretty much over but resident birds are still calling like crazy. Out my office window I could hear American Robins, Yellow-throated Vireos, Wood Thrush, American Redstarts, Ovenbirds, Chimney Swifts, Baltimore Orioles, Brown Headed Cowbirds, American Goldfinches, Great-crested Flycatchers and Eastern Phoebes. Yellow Lady Slipper orchids are blooming but Pink lady slippers are only just now poking up out of the ground. Chalk-faced corporal dragonflies are out in large numbers.

Saturday the mosquitoes were out in good numbers though it was very hard for me to type the word "good" just then. It was a beautiful day and I spent part of it showing captive owls to the public at Lake Elmo Park Reserve.

Sunday I went to Grand Old Day in St. Paul and had a grand old time. This weekend finally felt like summer with intense sunshine and nice weather.

This Week:
Continue to watch out for new species of dragonflies emerging from area ponds and lakes. They are the real superstars of the season.