Arb Sightings 5/13/11

Posted on May 13th, 2011 by

In recent years, seasonal transitions have seemed more abrupt than most are used to in southern Minnesota. This past week has been no exception, with temperatures rebounding from the 30’s early last week to the mid-90’s on Tuesday! This sudden swing in temperature has caused many of our trees and shrubs to nearly explode with green in a matter of a couple days, and some of the flowering shrubs (like magnolias) to quickly drop their blooms as their leaves burst forth. A cold front has arrived in the upper Midwest recently, however, as today’s high is just above the 50 degrees Fahrenheit mark and tomorrow’s temperatures might struggle to exceed the high 40’s. But better days are coming, as they say: highs all next week are expected to reach the comfortable mid-60’s and low 70’s, with plenty of sun and little chance of storms or showers.

As the trees are “popping” this week, here in St. Peter we’re on the verge of seeing our beloved crabapples and lilacs in full bloom. The cold spring has delayed them up to this point (about two weeks later than usual), but within the next few days the colorful sights and sweet smells should abound in the Linnaeus Arboretum and throughout the rest of Gustavus Adolphus College. Plum trees and pincherries are already at peak bloom near the Borgeson Cabin in the Arb, attracting many of their winged pollinators (bees, beetles, and flies). And, on the east side of the Interpretive Center, the Eastern redbud’s showy pink blooms have been gracing visitors since Tuesday as the tulips beneath it create a blanket of scarlet.

Tulips blooming in Thornberg Garden on east side of Interpretive Center, 5/11/11.

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

– Two flocks of American White Pelicans flying high over Interpretive Center 5/13

– Heartleaf Bergenias in full bloom in Evelyn Young Gardens behind Interpretive Center 5/13

– Female Scarlet Tanager observed in deciduous forest north of Borgeson Cabin 5/11

– American Toads vocalizing in Jim Gilbert Teaching Pond 5/11

– First Monarch butterflies seen in Arb 5/11 (two weeks earlier than the first ones last year)

– Baltimore Orioles and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds feeding at orange oriole feeder behind Interpretive Center 5/9


One Comment

  1. Sue Sitko says:

    Bob, how do I submit bird sightings for the Big Day count that was held yesterday? I’m in charge of the N. American Migration Count in Apache County, Arizona. Read about your birding big day effort in the GAC magazine awhile ago and thought I’d add our sightings in this year! I’m a 1984 grad. Can you e-mail me at sitko(at)frontiernet(dot)net. Note the two “nets” in the addy. Still waiting for some team lists to come in, won’t get things finalized until next weekend, if that’s OK. Hope to hear from you soon!
    Sue (Trachy) Sitko