biodiversity homepage      

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.

October 2001

Observations by Gary Fewless, except as noted

Date Observation (Click on links for photos)
Oct 31 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.
Oct 29 The mystery photo for Oct 26 was of American Hazelnut (Corylus americana).
Oct 26 Today's mystery photo (another dry fruit) is a little easier--answer on Monday.
Oct 25

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.

Oct 24

The daylength 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, etc.

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.

Today's mystery 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.

Oct 23 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.
Oct 22 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).
Oct 21

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).

Tamarack (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).

Oct 20 A single Monarch butterfly was flying at Point Beach State Forest (Gary Fewless).
Oct 18 Tamarack (Larix 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).
Oct 17

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 shoreline.

Oct 14 Flocks of Robins and Slate-colored Juncos commonly observed October 12-14, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).
Oct 13

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.

Oct 11

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.

Oct 10 First returning Fox Sparrow. Also had one Eastern Wood Pewee, Scarlet Tanager, and Chimney Swift...seems awfully late. Cook Arboretum, Janesville, WI (Andy Paulios).
Oct 09

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).

Oct 07 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.
Oct 06 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.
Oct 04 Leaf color 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.

Oct 01

Blandings Turtles have entered winter hibernacula, Washington Co. (Steve Price).

© 2001-2004 The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, All Rights Reserved
Last updated on May 20, 2015