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under the mushroom

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Yesterday’s Phenology: Even thought it’s still 90% green around here — which makes those trees that are turning really stand out — the ground at the dogpark is littered with a thin layer of dead leaves. A good phenologist would note the kind of leaves, but, alas, no. The day started off with rain, then cleared off to a cloudy breezy day, then rained again, briefly, in the afternoon. All in all – a delightful day. Cool night – temperature is 52 as I stir this morning.

Song of the day: I Can’t Get Started – Bunny Berrigan

reds over the waters

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Dogpark.

Yesterday’s Phenology: The day was overcast, cool, and humid. A little breezy. Very gray. Have I mentioned the sumac? Today was your typical mid-fall day. It didn’t beat you over the head with phenology, though I noticed pumpkins at the farmer’s market today, a sure sign of something. Pumpkins, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, zucchini, cukes, kale, beans, onions: you can get anything you want at the midtown farmer’s market.

Song of the day: Arlo Guthrie: Alice’s Restaurant.

 

saturday’s angel

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Yesterday’s Phenology: The Good: We saw a little family of Wood Ducks down by the pond yesterday; we didn’t have so many Wood Ducks last year, but word has spread about how nice it is here, I guess, and this year there’s quite a few of these fetching wee birds. Also, I’ve noted that the sumac is starting to be more visibly changing around town. Vivid splashes of red invigorate the landscape and warn of the coming winter. The bad: mice are starting to scout out holes in foundations, open porch doors or open windows, or for keys hidden in the yard under rocks. This is the time of year when mice enter their Cheese Frenzy, and these wee beasties will stop at nothing to get into your house, where they will then mount an assault on the cheese drawer of your fridge. Wise phenologists place a sturdy lock on their cheese drawers at this time of year, or forego cheese altogether. The ugly: the average temp this month is about 68, about 4 degrees warmer than normal. Scientists attribute most of this warmth to the fact that it’s a presidential election year.
Song of the day: The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

black lab in the mississippi

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Yesterday’s Phenology: Coolish, and mostly overcast. A bit of sun later. Typical early fall day. A few leaves falling. Things a tiny bit more colorful. The usual.

Song of the day: Chaka Kahn – I feel for you

river grass

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Yesterday’s Phenology: unremarkable.

Song of the day: Low, Plastic Cup

a moment on the prairie

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In the field outside the dogpark.

Yesterday’s phenology: a cloudy cool start to the day, in the 50s, and then sunny in the afternoon and upper 70s. The sun is a blinding orange ball at the end of Lake St. on my morning commute.  Lots of dragonflies zipping about the pond today. A lone blue heron in the shallow water. Herons seem to be loners, and, perhaps related, they always appear to be annoyed about something. Perhaps they do not enjoy wading about in the shallows, day after day. Anyway. Milkweed pods are splitting open, setting free their silky treasures. Our Ironwood tree seems to have some sort of so-called fruit. Not the kind, I think, that you would eat. Unless you happen to be a Hawfinch.

The forecasters are predicting “heavy rain” for tonight and tomorrow. Flash flood warnings all over the south part of Minnesota.

Song of the day: Down in the Flood, Bob Dylan, 1971

gather ye pollen while ye may

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The bees get a bit hysterical as the summer draws down. It’s deadline pressure.

Yesterday’s Phenology: Well, let’s see. Overcast morning and a few sprinkles, then sunny and warmish and a beautiful fall day. A sprinkling of red maple leafs on the ground in the park. I remember now that I saw a Wooly Bear caterpillar crossing the bike trail a couple weeks ago. Wooly Bears are widely known as reliable predictators of the weather. They say that the Wooly Bear has thirteen (13) distinct “segments” that are colored either black or rusty brown. The wider or the more brown segments there are, the milder the winter will be. The more black segments (or segment width. whatever.) the more harsh the coming winter will be. Rule of thumb: if more than a third of the Wooly Bear is brown, it will be a milder winter.

Unfortunatly, I was on my bike at the time, cruising at about 18 mph through a quick S-curve. While I did not smash the Wooly Bear (lord knows what that would have meant for the coming winter) I also was unable to scientifically measure it’s brown/black ratio. And so, well, we just don’t know. We will have to rely instead on the witchcraft and superstitions of the National Weather Service instead.

Two other things: it’s just kind of fun to say Wooly Bear. Whoever named those guys, nice job. And the Wooly Bear that I saw was moving at some serious speed across the bike path. Do Wooly Bears know about bike paths and mortality? Why does a Wooly Bear cross a bike path, anyway?

Song of the day – well, what else could it be? Wooly Bully! – Sam the Sham and the Pharaos, circa ’65