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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 2009Hepatica, Dutchman's-Breeches, Silver Maple

Mouse-over the photo for the identity of the subject

April 30 First returning individuals of Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).
April 29 American Toad calling, Oconto County, Town of Pensaukee (Tom Erdman).
April 28

First day of flowering (anthesis) for Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) and Carex pedunculata (long-stalk sedge). We seem to be running a bit behind last year. This is the latest flowering date for either of these species since 2003.

Caltha palustris flowering 4-28-09 Wescott Township, Shawano Co. (Joel Whitehouse).

April 27

First day of flower for Cardamine concatenata (= Dentaria laciniata; cut-leaved toothewort) and Cardamine diphylla (broad-leaved toothwort). Also the first day of flower (anthesis) for Populus deltoides (cottonwood), but only on upland sites where they have been planted in the city. Naturally occurring plants in wetter soils have not yet begun to flower. ["wild" plants began to flower 0429]

First day that I've seen Spring Azure butterlies on UWGB.

Spring Peepers calling, Waukechon Twnshp, Shawano Co. (Joel Whitehouse).

April 25

A fairly warm day with high of 67° F, but light rain most of the day with a total of 0.67 inches. In spite of the somewhat dreary aspect, Acer negundo (box elder) did begin to flower (pollen released) today in Allouez and many plants are very close to flowering.

First returning individuals of Solitary Sandpiper, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

April 24

Warmer air moves into the Green Bay area, but so does morning rain. Before the rain started (about 10:00 a.m.) there were several new plants in flower, though there were just a couple of fully open flowers for each species: Cardamine douglassii (purple spring-cress), Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground), Erythronium albidum (white trout lily) and Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot). Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge), and Carex pedunculata (long-stalk sedge) had styles exserted, but no mature anthers yet.

Rain cleared out in the afternoon and the temperature rose to 82° F.

April 23

Light rain in Green Bay and a high temperature of 52° F.

First returning individuals of White-throated Sparrow, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

April 22

After three days of rain and/or snow and cool temperatures, the modestly warm weather today (high temperature of 54° F) resulted in several plant species beginning to flower: Juniperus chinensis (Chinese juniper; a common horticultural variety is called Pfitzer juniper), Taxus cuspidata (Japanese yew, cultivated), Populus grandidentata (big-tooth aspen) and the first Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) flowering in a lawn on a south-facing slope at the base of a wall. It was also the first day that Equisetum arvense (common horsetail) released spores.

It was also the first day I saw White Suckers (fish) in Mahon Creek on UWGB.

April 21

The winter storm continues in northeastern Wisconsin. Here are some preliminary snow totals for the two days of the storm. All locations in northeastern Wisconsin:
Phelps: 18.0 inches!!
Hiles 13.0
Eagle River 11.7
Laona 10.6
Florence 8.0

Green Bay received very little snow, but the 0.2 inches for April 20th and another 0.2 inches today should give us the record for the snowiest winter since 1890. Last winter (2007/2008) held the record briefly. Here is a table of snowfall for Green Bay for the last two winters. There is no guarantee that we won't get more snow so this may change.

snowfall (inches) for Green Bay Wis.
2007/08 2008/09
Oct 0 0
nov 0.7 6.7
dec 24.1 45.6
Jan 28.5 10.2
Feb 24.5 15.7
Mar 4.3 9.1
Apr 5.3 0.4
total 87.4 87.7

The snowiest winter ever in Green Bay was 1887/88 when 147.7 inches was recorded and second place goes to the winter of 1889/90 in which 103.6 inches of snow were reported.

An average winter snowfall total for Green Bay is about 52 inches.

April 20 A storm system moves into Wisconsin with rain to the south and snow in some northern locations. Laona, Phelps and Eagle River all reporting several inches of snow by 10:00 am, with Phelps the highest I've seen at 6 inches. The forecast predicted up to a foot of snow in portions of upper Michigan, including the Marquette area.
April 19

Light rain began last night and continued through most of the day, but with small precipitation totals during daylight hours in Forest County. Brown County received 0.39 inches before midnight, and light rain continued into the 20th. This was the first measurable precipitation for Green Bay this month.

Most snow is gone from northeastern Wisconsin, but it isn't hard to find scattered patches on north slopes and shaded areas and in swamps. Most lakes are ice-free now, but there are still some areas of ice locally. In Forest County some spring ephemeral plants can be seen pushing up through the leaf litter. After today's rain and tomorrow's predicted rain/snow a few warm sunny days would help the plants develop quickly. Carex plantaginea (plantain-leaved sedge) has styles exserted and anthers fully formed and exserted, but not yet dispersing pollen.

April 18

A warm sunny day in Forest County and the Mourning Cloak butterflies were out. I also saw an "anglewing" butterfly, but couldn't get a clear look at it. Ruffed Grouse drumming, Ravens calling and Pileated Woodpeckers at work added a sparse but welcome soundtrack to the day.

This is a very dry period and Wisconsin DNR reports over 100 fires already.

April 17

Shortly after ice out, see first painted turtle get up on a log. Air temperature 73° F. Scout Lake Florence County (Dave Arendt ).

April 16

The earliest flowers of Caltha palustris (marsh marigold) are open, in very wet, springy sites only.

This is the first day this spring that I saw a Garter snake, UWGB.

April 15

We have had no measurable precipitation this month (none previously this month and only 0.38 inches since March 24) in Green Bay and in spite of our prodigious winter snowfall, conditions are quite dry.

First day of flower (anthesis) for Ulmus pumila (Siberian elm), Village of Allouez and UWGB.

April 14

First day of flower (anthesis) for Corylus americana (American hazelnut) on UWGB campus. The stigmas of female flowers have been visible since March 26.

Also first day of flower for Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse), UWGB near buildings.

Observed a male turkey in full mating display today in the Bay Beach wildlife preserve, Brown County (Lisa Mastalir).

April 11

The first Salix discolor (pussy willow) flowers are open (anthesis).

April 10 First returning individuals of Eastern Towhee, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).
April 7 Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) first in flower (anthesis) UWGB.
April 5 Another big storm moved across the plains, dropping 1-2 feet of snow in some locations, but sliding by to the south and delivering only a dusting of snow in Green Bay.
April 4

Water striders out, Mahon Creek, UW-Green Bay.

Thirteen-lined ground squirrel out and about, Brown County, near the Shawano County line along Highway 29 (Joel Whitehouse).

First returning individuals of Tree Swallow, Eastern Meadowlark, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

April 2

Earthworms out, Shawano County (Joel Whitehouse).

First returning individuals of Chipping Sparrow, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).

April 1

Snipe winnowing, Oconto County, Pensaukee area (Tom Erdman).

A trace of snow in the morning in Green Bay.

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Last updated on December 1, 2014