Arb Sightings 7/27/11

Posted on July 27th, 2011 by

High temperatures in the 80’s with lower humidity levels have amounted to a week of rather comfortable weather for those of us in southern Minnesota. A couple early mornings of rain (today and last Saturday) amounted to a cumulative total of just under an inch of rain here in St. Peter, but otherwise there has been plenty of sun to enjoy. Temperatures have been forecast to remain in the 80’s (with lows in the 60’s) for the foreseeable future, with a few chances of a thunderstorm here and there between more days of sun.

Mid- t0 late summer is the time to find butterflies in the Linnaeus Arboretum. Now that the Bird and Butterfly Garden is boasting a variety of blooming butterfly attractants — including purple coneflower, butterfly bush, and swamp milkweed — the colorful insects are beginning to appear in larger numbers. Monarchs seem to be plentiful this year, especially in both the Uhler and Coneflower Prairies, and in the past few days several Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have been seen nectaring in the perennial gardens around the Interpretive Center (look for them particularly on liatris in the Evelyn Young Gardens). Dragonflies are increasing in number as well as they feast on mosquitoes, gnats, and other small insects throughout the Arb; Twelve-spotted Skimmers are probably the most commonly sighted species right now, but also look for Meadowhawks, Green Darners, and Widow Skimmers.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer at rest in Thornberg Garden behind Interpretive Center, 7/26/11.

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

– Hummingbird Clearwing nectaring on white monarda (bee balm) in Bird and Butterfly Garden behind Interpretive Center 7/26

– 7 Northern Leopard Frogs on lily pads in Johnson Waterfall Garden pond 7/25

– Joe-pye Weed beginning to bloom in both Evelyn Young Gardens and Bird and Butterfly Garden 7/24

– Seed pods beginning to form on milkweeds in Uhler Prairie 7/24


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