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Observations by Gary Fewless for Green Bay WI (Lat.N 44.51° Long. W 88.02° ), except as noted. For flowers lacking conspicuous petals or sepals I define "anthesis" as release of pollen by mature anthers.

August 2009purslane

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Aug 31

Cool weather continues in northeastern Wisconsin. Green Bay's morning low temperature was 39° F, and frost warning were issued for extreme northeastern counties. I have received a first-hand report of frost in Goodman in northwestern Marinette County, and I suspect that was generally the case in adjacent communities. Among stations reporting low temperatures this morning, Land O'Lakes in Vilas County reported a low temperature of 29° F and Eagle River reported 31°. To put this in perspective for readers from warmer regions, there were frost/freeze conditions in this area as late as June 6, so the growing season was quite brief this year. Of course, seasoned veterans of the north are expert at "covering" plants to protect them on these nights, and the daytime weather thereafter was sunny and warm.

For areas where the temperatures were a bit warmer, there were substantial morning fogs in some low lying areas.

Aug 30 Some of the more sensitiveplants in the northern areas are beginning to show fall colors. The darker brown in the back is Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern) and the bulk of the yellow leaves in the photo are from Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane).
Aug 27 The cones of Thuja occidentalis (white cedar) are full size now, but not yet mature.
Aug 23 Whitetail Deer fawns have mostly lost their spots, although you can still pick out the faded remnants on some if the light is good.
Aug 20 There were numerous Double-crested Cormorants (and smaller numbers of White Pellicans and gulls) on Green Bay today, as seen in this photograph from the shoreline at UWGB.
Aug 18 Spartina pectinata (prairie cord grass) is in flower (anthesis). This is a conspicuous, tall grass with culms often exceeding 2 meters in height, typically of sunny, wet, sandy sites. Its main distribution is south and/or west of northeastern Wisconsin, but it is fairly widely distributed near the shore of Green Bay.
Aug 14

In the prairie plantings on UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum, yellow flowered plants have taken over the aspect of the vegetation with numerous individuals of Silphium integrifolium (prairie rosinweed), Silphium laciniatum (compass plant), Silphium terebinthinaceum (prairie dock), Ratibida pinnata (yellow coneflower), Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed susan) and Helianthus decapetalus (woodland sunflower). Also the goldenrods are gaining in prominence with flowers of Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod), our most abundant goldenrod species, beginning to flower.

Ragweed hayfever season is well underway (it usually starts about Aug 3 or 4) . If you hear people speaking of "summer colds" now, it is probably actually hayfever. Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) is by far the greatest source of hayfever at this season and the plants are very numerous in full sun on disturbed soil, such as roadsides, recent construction sites, untended city lots and edges of fields. The flowers of ragweed are small and green so most people don't even recognize them, and instead each year the conspicuous bright yellow flowers of goldenrods get the blame for hayfever.

Aug 13 In wet areas, Scutellaria lateriflora (blue skullcap) and Lycopus uniflorus (northern water horehound) are now in flower.
Aug 12

There are very few plant species flowering now in the deciduous forests of northeastern Wisconsin, but the bright blue fruits of Clintonia borealis (blue-bead lily) fruits are now mature. In forest openings and along edges there are some showy species now beginning to flower, including Eurybia macrophylla (large-leaved aster) in mesic sites and Doellingeria umbellata (flat-topped aster) and Symphyotrichum puniceum (swamp aster) in wetter spots.

Aug 11 Along sunny roadsides in northeastern Wisconsin Cichorium intybus (chickory) and Daucus carota (wild carrot; Queen Ann's-lace) are very conspicuous. In the northern portions it has been a good year for Epilobium angustifolium (fireweed) and in some areas Melilotus spp. (sweet clover) are also doing very well. There are many more flowering weedy species along roads also--too many to name here.
Aug 7

The acorns of Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) are beginning to enlarge rapidly. The nut typically falls out of the cap as soon as it ripens.

Rudbeckia laciniata (cut-leaved coneflower) is beginning to flower in the Brown County area. This is a relative of our common "black-eyed Susan", but this one is much taller, tends to grow in moist soil and in forests, and the leaves are deeply lobed.

Aug 4 The fruits of Ribes cynosbati (gooseberry) are starting to ripen in northeastern Wisconsin. They are usually covered with spines, as shown in this photo, and they are quite daunting when green, but when they ripen the berries soften and the spines are not a problem. People who eat them tend to either rate them highly or hate them, with few intermediates. You should not eat any wild fruits unless you are certain that they do not pose a risk to you, either through misidentification or through allergic reactions, etc.
Aug 2

Corylus americana (American hazelnut) fruit are about full size, but the "husk" is still green and herbaceous, northeastern Wisconsin.

Helianthus strumosus (pale-leaved woodland sunflower) beginning to flower in northeastern Wisconsin.

Aug 1 Ripe raspberries (Rubus idaeus) abundant, but mostly small in northern Marinette County.

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Last updated on August 7, 2014