Arb Sightings 7/8/11

Posted on July 8th, 2011 by

June turned out to be quite the unsettled month. A few days of sunshine were often followed by a streak of stormy/rainy weather, with severe thunderstorms appearing throughout the entire state on several occasions. Heavy rainfall occurred around the middle of June in southern Minnesota, with around ten inches (most of which reached the Minnesota River) recorded in some locations in southwest Minnesota. Heat advisories were broadcast on several days, both in the second and last week of June, with temperatures soaring into the mid-90’s and even exceeding the 100 degrees Fahrenheit mark. July has thus far been characterized by mostly sun and dry weather, with high temperatures residing in the more comfortable 80’s. Storms and rain are forecast for this weekend, however, and next week looks to continue the unsettled pattern we last saw in June (and we might reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit again on a few days).

All that June rainfall has certainly done its part to keep the Linnaeus Arboretum looking its most vibrant. The perennial gardens around the Interpretive Center are bursting in color, perhaps highlighted by the impressive bloom stalks of Adam’s Needle, a species of yucca that grows splendidly in gardens but doesn’t necessarily bloom each year (it has been at least a couple years since we last saw it blooming in the Arb). Stella D’Oro daylilies have also begun blooming, as have the gorgeous oriental lilies found in the Evelyn Young Gardens on the southwestern side of the Interpretive Center. In both the Coneflower and Uhler Prairies, wild bergamot and prairie coneflowers are adding a splash of lavender and gold to the sea of bluestem, and here and there the fiery-orange flower heads of butterfly weed contrast with the surrounding grasses.

Adam's Needle blooming in Evelyn Young Gardens behind Interpretive Center, 7/7/11.

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

– Ruby-throated Hummingbird nectaring on Scarlet Bee Balm in Bird and Butterfly Garden behind Interpretive Center 7/8

– Dickcissels and Grasshopper Sparrows singing in Coneflower Prairie 7/8 (the former is a new species for the Arb)

– Purple Coneflowers beginning to bloom in Bird and Butterfly Garden behind Interpretive Center 7/8

– Red Squirrel foraging for seeds under sunflower feeders in Bird and Butterfly Garden behind Interpretive Center 7/6-8 (this species has generally been a rare summer visitor to the feeders)

– Gray Treefrog roosting above front door to Interpretive Center (same location and probably same individual as last year) 7/6-7


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