Arb Sightings 5/20/10

Posted on May 20th, 2010 by

A dry, warm week in mid- to late May is generally a good thing, as many of us have outdoor events and ceremonies planned that we’d rather not have to postpone. This has been one of those weeks, and other than a bit of wind it has been a gorgeous one. Looking ahead through the weekend, however, the temperature will continue to rise into the low 90’s by early next week, accompanied by a chance of thunderstorms and highs in the mid-80’s through the rest of the week. Last year, as many will remember, the hottest days of the year occurred in late May, followed by temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s throughout the summer. Thus it will be interesting to see if again our hottest days occur before summer has officially begun.

Things are looking very June-esque in the Arb right now. The lilac blooms, which began blooming almost a month ago, are on the wane. The ginkgoes, catalpas, and Kentucky coffeetrees have all leafed out. Most of our resident summer birds have returned and are either sitting on nests or defending territories. The Kentucky bluegrass, which makes up the lawn in the Arb and across campus, is lush and green (and requires weekly mowing). The transitional period known as spring, then, is nearly already finished in southern Minnesota, and things will remain green for the next three months. The landscape of the Arb, however, will go through a sort of color change during these months, as an array of flowers will begin blooming at different times throughout the summer. And while most of the trees will continue to show off their greens, there is a voracious predator increasingly making its presence known this year in southern Minnesota that has the potential to significantly threaten their vibrance…more on that next week.

Here are some other highlights from this week in the Arb:

– Columbine ‘Clementine’ in full bloom in Bird and Butterfly Garden behind Interpretive Center 5/20

Columbine 'Clementine' blooming in Bird and Butterfly Garden behind Interpretive Center, 5/20/10.

– Barn Swallows gathering nesting material outside Interpretive Center 5/18

– American Toads calling from wetlands in Arb 5/17

– Bumblebees nectaring on blooms of Prairie Smoke near Johnson Prairie Overlook in Uhler Prairie 5/17

– Blackburnian Warbler (a new species for the Arb) among 10 warbler species present in deciduous woods north of Borgeson Cabin 5/15


Comments are closed.