||Observation (Click on links for photos)
Sometimes the common
names of plants are very appropriate and self-explanatory (e.g.
hickory"). At other times it is not clear what relationship
the name has to the appearance of the plant, at least during some
portions of the life cycle. The linked photo shows two
species of oak on UWGB's Cofrin arboretum. Red oak is on
the left and white oak on the right. It seems likely that they were
not named during this portion of the Fall season. Leaves of red
oak do often turn red later, however. Although there are strong
tendencies for any given species, there is considerable variablility
in the color of Fall leaves, varying from one tree to the next,
from season to season and from year to year (Gary Fewless).
||I was surprised to see the
difference between this Fall and last. Last year our first measurable
snowfall was December 23, with a total of 1.8 inches by the end of
December. This year our first measurable snowfall was October 18 with
a total of 1.8 inches in Green Bay so far and much more to our north
high temperature in Green Bay has been below the average
since Oct 12 (averaging about 9 degrees lower). In early September
the temperature was roughly the same magnitude above average,
making the transition into Fall seem even more pronounced.
||In the Green Bay area some
of the oaks are now becoming very colorful, including Hill's
oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis). Also known as northern
pin oak, this species is distinctive of the midwest and is very common
in our area.
|| Fall leaf color
is still very good in some parts of Door County. Sugar maples and
beech are among the best colors currently. Also some understory plants
are still in good condition, including the intermediate
wood fern (Dryopteris intermedia), whose leaves may
remain green all winter under the right conditions.
The daily low temperature
in Green Bay has been at or below 32 F for the last 11 days. Average
high and low for this time of year are 54 and 36 F.
In spite of the colder temperatures, there are still
some wild plants in flower, including showy goldenrod (Solidago
speciosa), heath aster
(Aster ericoides) and a variety of weeds such as charlock
(Brassica kaber), hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)
and ragwort (Senecio vulgaris), UWGB (Gary Fewless).
A new report
on invasive species lists the cost to the great Lakes area
as "well into the billions" of dollars, but acknowledges
that the true cost is so high that it is effectively impossible
to estimate accurately. Zebra Mussels alone cost local municpalities
and governments about $69 million, and that does not include indirect
costs associated with effects on the fishing industry and tourism.
The loss of biodiversity due to invasive species is more difficult
to estimate and nearly impossible to place a dollar value on.
||An additional 0.4 inches
of snow fell in Green Bay today. The total precipitation for the month
is 3.08 (as water) which is about twice our average.
||Green Bay received 1.2
inches of snow, a record for this date. The Wausau area had 4
inches and some areas, including Clark and Chippewa counties had 5-6
inches of snow. The Green Bay area had rain later in the day with
a total precipitation of 0.83 inches.
return to Green Bay. Big flocks of Sand Hill Cranes heading
south and large flocks of Robins, Pensaukee area, Oconto County
||There is still some snow
on the ground in the the Mountain area of Oconto County, from
yesterday's snowfall. Some Tamaracks
in good Fall color, but in other areas some are still green. (Gary
Some areas in northeastern
Wisconsin received significant snow (Rhinelander had 3.0
inches). Snow plows ran on some main roads in the Mountain
area of Oconto County. Green Bay had mostly light rain and 0.1 inch
of snow, our first measurable snowfall of the year (a "trace"
recorded yesterday) (Gary Fewless).
||The invasive species, Phragmites
australis (often just called Phragmites, sometimes
giant reed) has taken over large areas of the lower Green Bay
shoreline following the recent low water levels of 1999-2001. The
area occupied by Phragmites is no longer available to other
plants or the animals that depend on them, thereby reducing biodiversity
in the area. In fact, Phragmites stands are often so thick
and tall that they really aren't even usable by people for recreation.
This land is lost to the natural communities almost as effectively
as if the land had been filled or otherwise converted. Invasive species
may well be the most important issue facing conservation of natural
resources in the coming century (Gary Fewless).
The low temperature was
27 F in Green Bay this morning. Iron Mountain, Michigan reported
a low of 21 F!
A graph of temperature
in September and October shows the general cooling trend.
Our common wild
grape (Vitis riparia) is conspicuously in ripe fruit, as
are many other plants (Gary Fewless).
||The low temperature of 31
F this morning was our first official freeze in the City
of Green Bay this Fall and our lowest temperature since May 21 (when
the low temperature was 30 F) . There are still many
leaves on the trees for some species, but others such as this
cottonwood (Populus deltoides) have lost most of their
leaves (Gary Fewless).
||Fall leaf colors may be at
about their peak in northeastern Wisconsin this weekend. We are expecting
a hard freeze over the weekend which will quickly move the colors
along. There are still many species in flower in the Green Bay area,
including new england aster
||Fall colors are developing
on UWGB's Cofrin Arboretum. Among the most conspicuous colored trees
Ash (Fraxinus americana, mostly planted), green
Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and red
Maple (Acer rubrum).
View from the observation tower (Gary Fewless).
The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers reports that water level in Lake Michigan is about
9 inches higher that it was last year at this time. It is still
about 1 foot below the long term average, however. Precipitation
in the Lake Michigan/Huron Basin was about 1.4 inches below the
average for September, but over the last 12 months the total precipitation
is about 8% above average. Precipitation alone does not tell the
whole story of water level and we must also consider how much water
has been lost to evaporation, transpiration and outflow (Gary Fewless).
||The leaves of some trees
are rapidly turning to their Fall colors. The most conspicuous trees
in the City of Green Bay are green
ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), simply because they are
very numerous in the old fields. Other conspicuous species
include staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina, red), virginia
creeper (Parthenocissus inserta, red), River grape
(Vitis riparia, yellow), and gray dogwood (Cornus
racemosa, red). Many other species are still green (Gary Fewless).
The second consecutive
unseasonably warm day. Green Bay's high temperature of 83
F was near the record high of 85 for this date. The average high
temperature is 65. Canada Geese are now frequent and numerous in
the fields along the East River in Allouez (Gary Fewless).