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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.

April 2008 Mouse-over the photo for the identities of the three subjectsL to R: bloodroot, Bebb's willow, crack willow

Apr 30

First report of a 13-lined ground squirrel out and about, Oconto County, Town of Lena (Juniper Sundance).

Cold overnight, morning low temperature of 32° F. April 2008's average temperature of 46.2° is about 2° above "normal" with the highest temperature 72° on April 25th and the lowest 28° on the 1st and 2nd.. There was a total of 5.3 inches of snow for the month and a total precipitation of 4.61 inches, which is 2.05 inches above the monthly average.

Apr 29 I was out of town from April 29 through May 4, I had some help in my absence. I can also make some reasonable estimates--for example, given yesterdays snow and today's low temperature of 30° F and high of 47° F, it is likely that there were not many new plants in flower today.
Apr 28 Brisk snow flurries in the morning in Green Bay, for a total of 1.2 inches of snow, a record for this date. The low temperature was 34° F and the high was 44.
Apr 27 Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma longiroste), Rufous-sided Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), and White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia
albicolis
), City of Appleton (Tom Nedland).
Apr 26 There was light snow falling off and on all day on a drive through Brown, Oconto, Marinette and Forest counties in northeastern Wisconsin. In the northern portions of the trip, near U.S. Highway 8, most snow is gone except for shaded drifts and snow banks in a few places.
Apr 25

Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's-breeches) in flower, City of Green Bay.

The invasive alien species Euphorbia cyparissias (Cypress spurge) is flowering on UWGB.

The leaves of both Ribes americanum (American black currant) and Lonicera xbella (showy bush honeysuckle) are open enough (about 3/4 inch long) to produce a conspicuous green hue in the local forests.

Many Claytonia virginiana (spring beauty) in flower, first open flowers of Erythronium americanum (yellow trout-lily) and Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort) a few calling gray treefrogs, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

Apr 24

First day of flower for the following species on UW-Green Bay campus: Erythronium albidum (white trout lily), Carex pedunculata (long-stalk sedge), Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge), Claytonia virginica (spring beauty), Cardamine douglassii (purple spring-cress) and Cardamine concatenata (formerly Dentaria laciniata, cut-leaved toothwort). The abrupt appearance of these flowers is due in large part to the great spring day we experienced yesterday in the Green Bay area--sunny and a high temperature of 72° F.

There are now some plants of Acer negundo (box elder) in flower (anthesis) on UWGB, in City of Green Bay and in Ashwaubenon. Also the first open flowers I have seen of Viola labradorica (previously Viola conspersa), Ashwaubenon.

Apr 23

A few Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood) are in flower (anthesis) today in the City of Green Bay (but not the tree that I have monitored regularly). There were a few planted individuals in higher ground that began to flower yesterday. Some people may notice hay fever symptoms today, or alternatively that mysterious "spring cold". Another big contributor to an increase in spring hay fever is Juniperus chinensis (Chinese juniper; a common horticultural variety is called Pfitzer juniper) which have also begun to flower. They are strictly horticultural in our area, but they are very frequently planted around homes where they have the best chance of affecting sensitive individuals.

New plants in flower, west edge of City of Green Bay in Town of Hobart: Claytonia virginica (spring beauty), Anemone acutiloba (sharp-lobed hepatica), Erythronium americanum (yellow trout lily), Enemion biternatum (false rue anemone).

I saw my first dragonfly of the year, near the Wolf River, Shiocton Outagamie County. A large species, but I could not see any detail.

Observations from Oconto County, Town of Abrams: Hepatica, Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus), Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) and Caltha palustris (marsh marigold) all in flower. Buds of Ribes americanum (American black currant), Lonicera sp (honeysuckle) and Vaccinium myrtilloides (velvet-leaf blueberry) opening enough to show new leaf tips (Juniper Sundance).

Apr 22

Today is the 38th annual Earth Day, begun by Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970. The annual event serves as a focal point for environmental concerns and education.

Corylus cornuta (beaked hazelnut) in flower, Oconto County, Town of Abrams (Juniper Sundance).

First open flowers of Sanguinaria canadense (bloodroot) today, UW-Green Bay.

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) male aments ("catkins") are dropping rapidly, as here on a path at UW-Green Bay, indicating that flowering is nearly over. Here is a single ament in hand for scale. At this stage they have dispersed all the pollen and they quickly fall off the trees and dry up. The female aments look like this. They will continue to develop and in about 5 weeks they will release mature seeds, each with a tuft of hairs to disperse them on the wind.

First American Toad singing, Shawano (Joel Whitehouse).

Apr 21

Populus grandidentata (big-leaf aspen, anthesis) , Ulmus americana (American elm), and Ulmus pumila (Siberian elm) all began flowering today, UW-Green Bay.

After being quite abundant for the past few weeks, Junco numbers at our feeders have abruptly declined from at least 70 last night to a mere handful today, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

I hear, indirectly that the Lake Sturgeon are back in the rivers to spawn.

Apr 20

Taxus cuspidata (Japanese yew) in flower (anthesis). Planted individuals.

First fully open flowers for Caltha palustris (marsh marigold) in springs, City of Green Bay.

Also first day of flowering on UWGB for several weedy species: Taraxacum officinale (dandelion), Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell) Cerastium fontanum (mouse-ear chickweed) and Androsace occidentalis (rock-jasmine). All are in areas near buildings.

Painted Turtle out on edge of our pond, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

The earliest individuals of Erythronium albidum (white trout lily) began flowering today in small forest remnants among recent housing developments north of UW-Green Bay (Amy Wolf).

Apr 19

White suckers (fish) are spawning in Mahon Creek, UWGB.

The first flowering individuals of Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's-purse) were noted in lawns on the UW-Green Bay campus.

First Brown Thrasher, and first Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel seen. Many flowering (Sanguinaria canadensis) bloodroots open today on a sunny, west-facing slope, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

Apr 18

There was an earthquake reading 5.2 on the richter scale, in southern Illinois about 4:30 a.m. The location was about 400 miles south of Green Bay and it was felt by a few people here. There was relatively little damage and no serious injurious noted in the early reports.

Acer rubrum (red maple) began to flower today, a planted individual, but similar to wild plants.

Apr 17

The first turtles I've seen this spring were these Snapping Turtles, observed copulating today in a pond. The ice has only been gone from local ponds for about 2 weeks.

Wisconsin DNR reports that ice on northern lakes is beginning to melt, but some lakes still have 18-20 inches of ice .

Goodman, in northwestern Marinette County is still reporting about 2 inches of snow on the ground and Laona just to the west is reporting 5 inches of snow. This area had a major snowfall last week and most other areas in northeastern Wisconsin are now snowfree.

Apr 16

The earliest plants of Equisetum Arvense (common horsetail) are dispersing spores, UWGB. In spite of our snowy spring, this is only 2 days later than last year.

Green Bay's high temperature of 71° F is the highest of the spring to date and the warmest since October 18.

First Chipping Sparrows, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).


Apr 15

A high temperature of 58° F in Green Bay and our second consecutive day with no snow--not even a trace. Very windy, frequnetly in excess of 20 mph with a max of 38 mph.

Flock of Bonaparte's Gulls (Larus philadelphia) observed in flooded farm field. Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) in bloom along small stream/wetland complex. Several different colonies of wood frogs (Rana sylvatica)and chorus frogs (Psuedacris triseriata) heard, Hilbert Area, Calumet County (Tom Nedland).

Apr 14

From the I-43 bridge over the mouth of the Fox River, lower Green Bay appears to be mostly ice-covered north of the tip of Longtail Point. The temperature only fell to 31° F last night, but it was enough to form new ice as here in a puddle in the Town of Howard (31° is at the weather station and these low spots probably were a bit colder).

A pheasant ,"wily" game animal that it is, stands in the pavement for this photo op, Brown County, Town of Howard.

Wood Frogs singing in Shawano (Shawano County) and Keshena (Menominee County), Joel Whitehouse.
Apr 13

I found a Garter Snake out on UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum.

About a dozen Scaup (Aythya sp.) and a pair of hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) observed on borrow pit pond near Highway 41 on Fox Valley Tech's arboretum; also a Hermit Thrush (Tom Nedland).

Apr 12

Green Bay received 2 inches of snow, but the storm ran mostly north of us. Still, it was a shock on arising early in the morning.

Symplocarpus feotidus (Skunk Cabbage) in flower 4-12-08 in Shawano (Joel Whitehouse).
Apr 11 I saw the first new seedlings of Polygonum aviculare (common knotweed) today, Allouez, Brown County.
Apr 09

There was enough light snow last night and early this morning to whiten roofs and lawns in Green Bay, but it quickly melted. Mahon Woods on the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Arboretum is now free of snow cover and the only snow I have seen on UWGB at the end of today is the remnants of the largest snow banks adjacent to parkings lots.

There were about a dozen White Pelicans at the mouth of the Fox River this morning, along with numerous Double-crested Cormorants.

Apr 08 Light rain, a high temperature of 42° F in Green Bay and 0.9 inches of snow in the evening.
Apr 07

Light rain before daylight in Green Bay. A cold front moved through this morning and temperatures fell 5 degrees between 9 and 10 a.m. with strong winds.

A major movement of ice out of Green Bay in the Pensaukee area (Tom Erdman).

White-throated Sparrows and Hermit Thrushes returning, Pensaukee area, Oconto County (Tom Erdman)

Apr 06

First Garter Snake out and about; a significant influx of many Dark-eyed Juncos, and new arrival Eastern Towhee Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

First Milbert's Toroise-shell butterfly, UWGB.

First day of flower (anthesis) for Alnus incana (speckled alder), City of Green Bay and Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen), UWGB.

Wood Frogs calling at night, Town of Abrams, Oconto County (Juniper Sundance).

Apr 05

Green Bay's temperature reached high of 66° F today. That's the warmest temperture since October 30.

First day for Water striders out on Mahon Creek, UW-Green Bay. Last year they first appeared March 25. I wonder if the conspicuous large, displaced shadows of its feet and body on the bottom of the creek (as ssen in the photo) help to confuse predators from above.

The last of the winter ice was gone from Prairie Pond today (there had been increasing open water around this shrinking ice since April 1). Last year the last ice was gone on March 23.

Blue-spotted salamanders are out, City of Green Bay (Laura Bratz).

First Mourning Cloak butterfly during the day and Spring Peeper frogs at night, Town of Abrams, Oconto County (Juniper Sundance).

First Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers; Mourning Cloak and Question Mark butterflies flying, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

First Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers calling, Pensaukee area, Oconto County (Tom Erdman).

Major emergence of earthworms, Pensaukee area, Oconto County (Tom Erdman).

Apr 04

First open flowers (anthesis) for Acer saccharinum (silver maple), City of Green Bay. Over the last 23 years this tree has flowered later than this only once. The first flowering date has ranged from March 6 (2000) to April 5 (1996).

Ice is now completely off the storm water detention pond south of the UWGB sports center.

Meadow Larks, Fox Sparrows, Tree Sparrows and Winter Wrens return to Pensaukee area, Oconto County (Tom Erdman).

First siting of a Mourning Cloak butterfly for the season, UWGB campus by Niagara Escarpment (Jay Watson).

First spring peepers calling tonight, and a few wood frogs, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

A pair of Wood Ducks were seen April 4. Town of Abrams, Oconto County (Juniper Sundance).

Apr 03

First Song Sparrow, looking for bare ground. Most open areas are still snow-covered and folks are reporting an average of 15-18"of snow in the woods, Lakewood, Oconto County (Steve Janke). [This report is supported by the Rhinelander weather station which reports 19 inches of snow on the ground today and 21 inches yesterday]. Green Bay now reports 0 snow on the ground, but there is still snow in the woods, and elsewhere if it has been shaded, piled or drifted, GF]

There is still some ice on three small ponds that I monitor, but they are open around the edges and the ice is shrinking quickly.

Green Bay's high temperature was 52° F--our warmest of the season to date.

This evening we had our first Eastern Phoebe of the year in our yard, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

First Tree Swallow observed, Mack Wildlife Area Outagamie County (Jay Watson).

Apr 02

Green Bay's high temperature of 49° F was the warmest since November 13 (141 days, or 20 weeks).

First Eastern Meadowlark of the year for me, near Shirley, Brown County, Town of Glenmore (Joel Trick).

First Blue Spotted Salamanders, Town of Abrams, Oconto County (Juniper Sundance).

The overwintering plants of Matricaria matricarioides showing new green growth.

Apr 01

Green Bay starts April with a dusting of new snow and low temperature of 33° F.

As I noted yesterday, Marquette Michigan was the victim of a strong spring storm that brought 9.8 inches of snow on March 31. The storm continued into April first, and delivered a total of 25.6 inches of snow!! The National Weather Service at Marquette reports a snow depth of 33 inches--remarkable on April first even for a northern city.

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Last updated on July 18, 2014