||Observation (Click on links for photos)
||A relatively uneventful October
in terms of the weather. Temperatures
just slightly below average for the month (-0.7 deg F) and total precipitation
of 1.72 inches, about 0.5 inches below average. There was at least
a trace of rain on 17 days, but no single day received more that 0.5
inches of rain. All data from the NOAA weather service at Green Bay.
||The mystery photo for Oct
26 was of American Hazelnut
photo (another dry fruit) is a little easier--answer
A little snow
and a lot of cold air and strong winds in the Green Bay area. The
wind has resulted in very low water levels in Green Bay this afternoon.
Canada Geese are definitely gone from the
Allouez fields--I miss the sound.
Yesterday's mystery photo was of the fruits
of our common wild Clematis (Clematis virginiana)
sometimes called "devil's-darning-needle" or "virgin's-bower".
Many people are familiar with horticultural species of Clematis
with large blue or purple flowers. The flowers of Clematis virginiana are not very showy, but the fruits (each one a single-seeded, dry
"achene" with a conspicuous tail that aids in dispersal)
are very interesting.
has shortened dramatically. On June 21st we received 15 hours 33
minutes of daylight. Today we will receive 10 hours 34 minutes--a
reduction of 1/3. By December 21st we will receive 8 hours 50 minutes.
Changes in the duration of daylight are an important part of the
life histories of some plant and animal species, providing at least
part of the stimulous to hibernate, migrate, shed leaves, flower,
The Canada Geese are no longer frequenting
the Allouez fields in the evening or morning, as they had done since
Sep 13, although they can still be seen flying overhead and even
landing on the East River in the evening.
Yesterday's mystery photo was Common
Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata). It is a common shrub
species in northern WI on moist soils under full or partial sun.
photo may be more challenging. It is also
a fruit of a local plant, but this time it is of a species with
dry fruit--the identity provided tomorrow. The area shown in the
photo is a little over 2 inches across.
||How about a quiz? Today's mystery photograph
is of one of the brightest fruits in Northeastern Wisconsin at this
time of year. The identity will be provided in tomorrow's entry.
||Only a few Canada Geese
in the Allouez fields this morning. Perhaps they are near the end
of their stay here, or maybe they have just exhausted the food supply
in these particular fields. There is some discussion over whether
these are migrants or resident geese that spend the winter in the
Green Bay area. Certainly none of them wears a visible tag/collar
and they seem to arrive and leave on about the same schedule as the
migrants (Gary Fewless).
Eastern Garter Snakes
(Thamnophis sirtalis), Northern Red-bellied snakes
(Storeia occipitomaculata) and Fox Snakes (Elaphe
vulpina) all seen basking on roads. This indicates they have
not yet entered hibernation. Door Co, seen driving from Green Bay
to Baileys Harbor and back (Steve Price).
(Larix laricina) in good fall color, Shawano Co, Navarino
area. Some trees near Lake Michigan in Manitowoc Co were still mostly
green yesterday (Gary Fewless).
||A single Monarch butterfly
was flying at Point Beach State Forest (Gary Fewless).
laricina) trees in bright yellow foliage in Washington County
(Dave Marks and Steve Price). Others have reported similar conditions
in northern WI last weekend (thanks to all for the info). Tamarack
is the only gymnosperm in WI that loses all its needles in the Fall
and gets new needles in the Spring. Click on the following link for
a key to Wisconsin
Gymnosperms (Gary Fewless).
The species of Asters
flowering last week (see notes of 10/11) are still in flower,
but are now visibly diminished. Flocks of Canada Geese still
frequent the East River marshes and fields.
Leaf color is
well past peak by my estimation, but good color can still be found,
especially in Door County and other sites near the Lake Michigan
||Flocks of Robins and
Slate-colored Juncos commonly observed October 12-14, Town
of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).
Water of Lake Michigan
(and Green Bay) continues very low, at the same level as last month,
about 0.1 ft higher than last year at this time and about 1.1 feet
above the record low of 1964. The large areas of lake bed along
Green Bay's west shore that have been exposed by falling water over
the last few years have now been colonized
by plants. The photo is of the Pecor Point area in Oconto
County, taken 10/13/2001.
Flocks of Canada Geese
continue to feed in fields along the East River, but the numbers
have declined conspicuously.
Despite the cold temperatures over last weekend,
many of the Asters are still conspicuously in flower in the
Green Bay area. This morning I noted Smooth Aster (Aster
laevis), New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae),
Heath Aster (Aster ericoides), Panicled Aster
( Aster lanceolatus, previously A. simplex) and Calico
Aster (Aster lateriflorus) still with colorful flowers
and relatively healthy (at least upper) leaves. Many Goldenrods
are still conspicuous, but the flowers are mostly past the bright
yellow stage and are now turning brown as the seeds mature.
||First returning Fox Sparrow.
Also had one Eastern Wood Pewee, Scarlet Tanager, and Chimney
Swift...seems awfully late. Cook Arboretum, Janesville, WI (Andy
Large flocks of Canada
Geese still present morning and evening in marshes and fields
along the East River in Green Bay.
Wood frogs beginning hibernation. Some were
found under several inches of leaf litter and soil during surveys
in the Baileys Harbor area of Door County (Steve Price).
||Another solid freeze in Green
Bay, low temperature of 21 F. Cherry tomatos left in garden ovenight
were frozen to the point of being "crunchy" in the morning.
||A few snow flakes
around Green Bay and Door County area, and significant snowfall farther
north. Low temperature this morning was 23 F, our first time
below freezing this year.
of northeastern Wisconsin is advancing rapidly. The media reports
peak color is not here yet, but if you prefer a background of green
to accentuate the colors, it is already too late. North of Wabeno
the brilliant stage of colors is past and some leaves are falling.
The best bright reds (Staghorn Sumac, Red Maple, etc) are past prime,
but still present. The best colors for next weekend may be in the
Twin Bridges/Cauldron Falls area.
have entered winter hibernacula, Washington Co. (Steve Price).