Arb Sightings 9/17/09

Posted on September 17th, 2009 by

Today’s date belies the weather we’re experiencing right now in south-central Minnesota. Last year on this date the temperature was comfortable in the low 70’s; today it feels like mid-summer with temperatures in the mid-80’s. While we should have only a few more hot days like today left, rain appears to be quite rare in the forecast for the next ten days.

It’s uncertain how this unseasonable weather is affecting plants and animals in the Arb. Leaves are beginning to turn various shades of red and orange, and asters and goldenrods in the Uhler Prairie are on schedule in full bloom. At the same time, bird migration seems to be lagging a bit this year, with several species usually present by now yet to be sighted this far south. Monarch butterflies can be seen flying south, but there hasn’t been any strong north wind yet to encourage the “big push.”

Here are some observations from this week in the Arb:

– Maples starting to show fall color in maple collection south of Borgeson cabin

– Gray Treefrog sitting on leaves of Blue Salvia in Herb Garden 9/17

– Vesper Sparrow in treeline between Coneflower Prairie and deciduous woods 9/16

– Apples near Borgeson cabin ripe and ready for picking 9/16

– Red-breasted Nuthatch coming to sunflower feeders behind Interpretive Center 9/15

– New England Asters blooming in gardens around Interpretive Center and attracting many pollinators (bees) 9/14

New England Aster blooming in Bird and Butterfly Garden, 9/14/09.

New England Aster blooming in Bird and Butterfly Garden, 9/14/09.

 

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