Arb Sightings 4/7/11

Posted on April 7th, 2011 by

Finally we’ve been blessed with a week of beautiful spring weather here in southern Minnesota. Aside from a very windy day on Monday (with gusts up to 40 mph!), we’ve been experiencing days of lighter winds and highs in the 50’s and even low 60’s with plenty of sun. This weekend the high temperatures are predicted to reach near 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and thus on Sunday we’ve got a good chance (70%) of our first significant spring thunderstorms. As of right now, high temperatures after Sunday are forecast to be in the high 50’s and 60’s with a chance of rain especially toward the end of the week.

This past weekend’s forecast rains never quite materialized in south-central Minnesota, which is more good news for those affected by the Minnesota River’s floodwaters. There does appear to be a second crest happening right now in St. Peter as this week’s high temperatures have melted just about all the remaining snowbanks in the area, although no more major road closures are expected near town (part of Hwy. 22 has been closed again south of St. Peter near Kasota due to lingering road damage). Here in the Linnaeus Arboretum, the only place you’ll find a trace of dirty white is around parking lots where only a few weeks ago stood fifteen-foot-high mountains of plowed snow. Additionally, the arboretum’s ponds are now ice free, as the low temperatures at night have been above freezing this week. Interestingly, the Johnson Waterfall Garden on the west side of the Interpretive Center has already been filled with water; this water, however, is the result of snowmelt rather than a pump being turned back on.

Johnson Waterfall Garden filled with water (from snowmelt) on west side of Interpretive Center, 4/7/11.

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

– First of year Red-bellied Woodpecker calling from trees south of Interpretive Center 4/7

– Large numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos migrating through Arb 4/5-7

– First of year Mourning Cloak butterfly observed south of Interpretive Center near sundial sculpture 4/6

– First of year Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in American basswood south of Interpretive Center 4/5

– Irises sprouting in perennial gardens behind Interpretive Center 4/4


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