Archive for September, 2016



Yesterday’s phenology: I’d say we’re at about 15% tree color right now. Rough estimate. Squirrels are probably gathering nuts for the winter. At least they ought to be.

Song of the day: Eric Burdon and the Animals: We Gotta Get Out Out of This Place



Yesterday’s phenology: A good phenologist would notice tiny little details every day that would illuminate the natural world and the passing of the seasons. “The migratory Amboy Snipe, sometimes known as the Crackerjack Snipe, is passing through on schedule, singing it’s melancholy autumn traveling song in the key of d minor at roughly 10 minutes before dawn. In the fall you’ll see this cute little fellow carrying a single stem of arctic willow south, a token from its summer vacation with which it will begin its winter nesting in the warmer southern climes of the ancient Mayan temples of the Yucatan.”

Here, though, not so much. I saw a bunch of little brown birds darting about a vine in a garden. Sparrows? Waxwings? I didn’t get a good look. They toyed with me awhile and then flew away, singing a disdainful mocking song that sounded something like “TOO-bad TOO-bad TOO-bad LOO-zer LOO-zer LOO-zer.”

It was a long cloudy day. Night fell quickly.

Song of the day: Rikki Lee Jones – Last Chance Texaco

milkweed seed


Yesterday’s Phenology: cool fall day, very breezy, with rain in the afternoon. (This is becoming more of a weather report than a phenology note.) Hazel the cat is watchful these days; the game is a-foot! Snow-bird mice look to move inside for the winter. Local tree color is about 8%.

Song of the Day: So What, Miles Davis




Yesterday’s Phenology: A cool and mostly sunny fall day. Robins in the metro area can be seen packing their bags, and cancelling their newspaper deliveries.

song of the day: the Beatles, Hello, Goodbye

under the mushroom


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



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


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