Arb Sightings 3/11/11

Posted on March 11th, 2011 by

We’re nearing the light at the end of the tunnel: temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s this week are expected to give way to highs in the 40’s and even 50’s all next week! Our spring thaw, then, is just around the corner; even today we’re seeing a substantial bit of melting, as the current high temperature is hovering around 40 degrees Fahrenheit and winds are gusting upwards of 35 miles per hour out of the south (a deadly wind-temp. combination for snow cover). Unfortunately the strong winds are expected to shift to the west and north tonight and into Saturday, which means we’ll dip back below the freezing mark for the weekend before warmer temperatures and more melting on Monday.

A few inches of snow this past Monday and possibly a dusting tonight and early tomorrow may well be the last snowfall we see this winter. However several meteorologists are predicting a cooler-than-normal spring for Minnesota, which means we might see some odd days of wet snow or ice through March and April as temperatures fluctuate both near the ground and in the upper atmosphere. There is rain in the forecast toward the end of next week though (hopefully not too much for flooding sakes), which suggests that balmy temperatures are on the way as we approach the beginning of the spring season.

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

– Gray Squirrels feeding on exposed (by snow melt) twigs and last year’s plant growth in Bird and Butterfly Garden behind Interpretive Center 3/11

Gray Squirrel feeding on exposed twigs behind Interpretive Center, 3/11/11.

– Bald Eagle sightings over campus increasing in number 3/7-11 (this species’ northward migration is now underway)

– Raccoon spotted sleeping in canopy of tall pines west of Jones Northern Forest Ponds 3/10

– Bare ground beginning to show around the perimeter of trees’ trunks throughout the Arb and across campus 3/10

– Two Pine Siskins feeding on golden safflower seeds and nyjer thistle at feeders behind Interpretive Center 3/7


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