Arb Sightings 7/21/10

Posted on July 21st, 2010 by

Another week of hot temperatures has brought only a hint of storms to southern Minnesota and little to no rainfall. Humidity levels have dropped somewhat since last week, so the heat indexes haven’t been unbearable. This pattern will probably continue through next week, with temperatures forecast to be in the low to mid-80’s and chances of scattered or isolated thunderstorms on a few days. Without much rain in the forecast, however, it’s time to start watering your gardens and lawns regularly if you haven’t been doing so already.

These “dog days” of summer usually entail abundant flora and fauna. One look at the gardens behind the Interpretive Center and you’ll see what I mean: daylilies, coneflowers, mums, hydrangeas, and hollyhocks are in full bloom among others. These blooms, representing just about every color of the spectrum, are still attracting good numbers of butterflies, bumblebees, and wasps, with the abundant Red Admirals being the most common nectaring insects. Eastern Cottontails have also become more common in recent weeks, as their young (leverets) have been seen scampering throughout the gardens, and occasionally a vole or shrew will scurry past you as it darts for concealment among the vegetation. Finally, a few Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been nectaring on the red trumpet-shaped weigela flowers in the Bird and Butterfly Garden.

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

– Crabapples with diameters the size of dimes in front of Interpretive Center 7/21

– Eastern Tiger Swallowtail flying south of Interpretive Center 7/20

– Water lilies blooming in Johnson Waterfall Garden near Interpretive Center 7/19

– Northern Leopard Frog camouflaged among lily pads in Johnson Waterfall Garden 7/19

Northern Leopard Frog camouflaged among lily pads in Johnson Waterfall Garden, 7/19/10.

 

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