Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Phenology: July 18, 2011

Posted by Kirk Mona
The sun rose at 5:43 AM this morning and started getting to work heating things up. It won't set until fifteen hours, eleven minutes and 26 seconds later at 8:54 PM which will provide plenty of heating hours to melt our brains.

Keep cool by thinking about last week:

Monday the mosquitoes and biting flies were increasing in numbers and it was what I thought would be the hottest day of the week. The week had other plans.

Tuesday I noticed the garlic mustard seed pods are opening out in the woods. I had hoped to get out and pull a lot of this invasive species out before it bloomed but didn't get around to it. It bloomed, formed pods and now those pods are just about to burst open. It seems like every seed germinates. If you have any garlic mustard you were hoping to remove this year it is probably too late.

Wednesday the corn seemed to shoot up about a foot over night. I'm sure it wasn't that much but this morning it was noticably taller than the beginning of the week. I'm looking forward to some Minnesota sweet corn. It was a cooler night, Tuesday night it got down to 37° F up in Hibbing, MN.

Thursday I am sure something interesting happened but I'll be damned if I can remember.

Friday was a rainy day and persistent lightening was successful at keeping me inside with my summer campers. I was finally able to make it out to the prairie at the end of the day and it was beautiful. The black-eyed susans are in full bloom. They seem to be doing especially well in the area of the prairie we burned. 

Saturday started off loudly. I was awoken by some of the loudest thunder I have heard in my life. It shook the house violently. There was a thermal inversion overnight which trapped the sound waves close to the ground which seemed to intensify the thunder. Heavy rains caused flash flooding on two local highways and the little park down the street from me was still under a foot of water at lunch time. We were planning on having an outdoor movie on Saturday night but it was so hot come evening we stayed indoors. I did hear cicadas for the second time this year during the day.

Sunday I was busy with my wife's birthday but my uncle pointed out some bees on the plants near where I had parked. I took a look and was astonished to see more bumblebees than I could count feeding on some sort of flowering ornamental plant. The leaves looked like some sort of monarda but I didn't recognize the flowers. The humidity was oppressive. I'm writing this at 1:30 at night and the heat index is still 100°. We tied a record for our 81° dew point today.

What to expect this next week:

There should be a lovely 118° heat index today and it should be a hot week. That's all. Just hot and humid. It will trump everything else. Phenologically, Saturday is an important day. It will be the first day we lose two full minutes of daylight. We won't lose three minutes per day until August 31st.

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