Yesterday’s Phenology: chilly morning, 39, quiet a lot of dew out there as we went to the donut store. Then to the dog park, and still dewy. The upper part of the trail was golden, leaves falling, golden leaves carpeting the ground, really beautiful. The lower part of the park, along the river, was still pretty green, though leaves were tumbling down. We saw a couple of bald eagles flying low, headed south down the river. That makes 4 eagle sightings this week, which is a lot for me. On the afternoon bike ride, the prairie was brown and yellow, but mostly brown. It was getting warmer at the end of the dog park walk, upper 60s, low 70s, but became cooler and overcast in the afternoon, during the bike ride, with an annoying headwind both as I was headed west and then headed back east. The sumac in our back yard, which was ablaze with red a few days ago, has now lost about 90% of its leaves. And now, as I write, a little thunderstorm rolls through. Winter is coming. And tomorrow is Monday.
Song of the day: Elvis Costello, Welcome to the Working Week
Yesterday’s Phenology: The days are short. Up before the sun, to get to the farmer’s market. Surprisingly warm morning, followed by a overcast day and temps in the upper 60s? All in all, a good day for doing outside chores to prepare for winter. Because Winter is Coming.
Song of the day: Melanie – Candles in the Rain
One last shot from the drive up to Hibbing is the soft mist and the early morning rain. (Cue: Gordon Lightfoot).
(Actually we listened to “The Lonesome Touch,” which was just right.)
Yesterday’s Phenology: Awakened by more thunder, more lightning, more rain. We got about an inch of rain, a little less, which puts us almost an inch of rain ahead of normal for September. Things are pretty soggy here. I can remember a lot of falls where everything turned brown in August, and stayed brown till it snowed, and I guess I’d rather have this. Everything is very green. More rain predicted for tonight and tomorrow.
However, I think it’s hard on the raspberries, which are also pretty soggy. I was startled while in the raspberry bushes by a large, low-flying bird, that swooped low over my head and then over by the fence. I walked over a bit closer and watched for it, and eventually saw it pop up. I think it was a broad-winged hawk, but that’s mostly a guess. I only saw it from behind, it was a beautiful brown. I got a glimpse of a lighter colored chest and then it swooped off. I was unable to catch a look at its tail feathers. Broad winged hawks are fairly common in Minnesota, though I’ve nowt seen a one, until, perhaps, today. I thought it also might be a Cooper’s Hawk, but I think the eyes are a bit more colorful on a Cooper’s hawk. Broadwings like small prey, and this one was near both our bird feeder and our compost pile, where I bet small prey might be found occasionally.
Alas, I had no camera with me. Why not?
From our last trip to Hibbing.
Yesterday’s phenology: totally pleasant. Fat red raspberries waiting to be picked. Tomatoes also waiting to be picked. Is this the peak of Goldenrod season? Bees buzzing happily, but it’s hard to walk through the yard without bumping into the Goldenrod.
I’m a guy who likes a rainy day, who prefers a rainy day, and a dreary grey rainy landscape. My sister tells me I would like it in Ireland, and I’m sure she is right. This particular view is on the way back from Hibbing this past Saturday. Perfect driving weather. Especially if you are not actually doing the driving, but instead scrunched down sleepily in the back seat, gazing at the misty landscape as it slides past.
Yesterday’s Phenological note: Pretty typical late August weather. Sunny. Hot. Humid. Add 200,00 people into the mix and you have the Minnesota State Fair. Which we are missing this year, for a change. I’ve noticed that our second crop of raspberries is coming in, and there is an abundance of various flowers busily flowering in every corner of our yard, attracting clouds of flying Insecta. The Goldenrod is getting out of hand in spots. The Morning Glories are bright blue and cheery. Driving home from the funeral home last night I could see a lot of lightning in the north, playing in the clouds, and at home the radar revealed slow moving thunderstorms that seemed like they may or may not ever arrive. As I type this, though, I can hear the first rolls of thunder, so things are looking up.
I see that the Milkweed pods are fat with seeds; as we went to the Tiny Diner a couple of days ago we saw a few Milkweed that were crowded with Milkweed Bugs. (Yes, a clever name. How did they come up with that?) We don’t mind individual bugs too much, in general, but festering seething masses of them just plain gives us the willies.
More thunder. Experienced phenologists are able to extract meaning from the various rumblings, echos, and peals of thunder. This particular thunder is telling me I had better get off the computer soon.