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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 2013 Mouse-over the photo for the identity of the subject

April 30

First open flowers of white trout-lily (Erythronium albidum). Also first open flowers for the tiny ubiquitous weed corn speedwell (Veronica arvensis).

Still no sign of green in the forest canopy, but many understory shrubs are now showing a little green at the tips of opening buds. Most of the early spring woodland herbs are up and will flower soon if the weather continues to be favorable.

Green Bay's high temperature of 84° F tied the record high for this date , previously set in 1901. The average monthly temperature was 2.9° F below the average precipitation (as water equivalent) was 0.75 inches above average.

Whip-poor-will heard, City of Green Bay (Vicki Medland).

April 29

American Toad calling, Brown County, Sensiba Wildlife Area (Josh Martinez). [I don't think I can recall another instance where Wood Frogs and Toads overlapped in the active breeding period, GF].

From the satellite imagery, it appears that this was the last day for ice on Green Bay this spring.

April 28

This is the first day I saw open flowers of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), UWGB in lawn.

Suckers (fish) have abruptly begun to spawn in local streams.

There were still some large ice chunks in seasonal pools where wood frogs were calling(!), Brown County, Town of Suamico.

First sign of new green leaves at tips of buds of showy bush honeysuckle (Lonicera xbella), American wild currant (Ribes americanum), Eastern prickly gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati), Nannyberry (Viburnum trilobum), UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum.

April 27

Bank and Rough-winged Swallows, Black-crowned Night Heron, House Wren. Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Green Bay, WI (Brian Pierce).

Numerous Leopard Frogs calling, Point au sauble, Brown County (Erin Giese).

April 25
muskrat Here's a photo of a muskrat, from early this morning. This has at least begun as a spring-like day with sunny skies and temperatures up to mid-40's by 10:00 a.m., and the word "snow" was not included in the daily weather forecast.
April 24

A few marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris) are in flower in springs. This ties for the latest date of first flower for this population with 1990, 28 years of data. Most plants will not flower for at least several days and may be much more, depending on the weather.

There is still not a trace of green from new leaf buds of any trees or shrubs on UWGB or BairdCreek. I can't recall this ever being the case so late in the spring, though 2011 was close. There is some slight greening of perennial grasses, but I still am not seeing germination of even annual weeds on sunny sites.

Gray Catbird, Brown County, Town of Scott (Nick Walton and Stephanie Beilke).

April 23

Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in flower (pollen released), UW-Green Bay. This flowering is probably more on the strength of yesterday's mild conditions and a relatively warm night last night, rather than today's weather which is cloudy with rain and maybe snow later. This date is tied for the latest for this population of aspen, going back to 1986 (28 years of data). Last year it flowered on March 15, which was 39 days earlier.

plants emerge There is still very little new plant growth, but here are the first efforts of a couple of our spring forest plants.

AYellow-Rumped warbler sat on our  cedar bush for approx. 10 minutes after it bumped into our front window, today, April 23, 2013.  Picture taken on St. Croix Circle West in Allouez (Nancy & John Reichmann).

April 21

If you look very closely you can see the new leaves of several of our spring ephemerals beginning to emerge, including trout lilies (Erythronium spp.), Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum), wild leek (Allium tricoccum) and false rue anemone (Enemion biternatum). They don't look like the photos in the books though.

A few snow flakes in the afternoon in Green Bay and more predicted for Tuesday. The continuous winter snow cover is generally gone except for a few small remnants where more shaded or deeper than the rest.

April 20
ice on pond Light ice cover on the east end of Prairie Pond this morning.
April 19

Cool weather persists. Light snow in the morning in Green Bay.

Yellow-rumped Warbler perched in the fresh snow on my deck railing before visiting the suet feeder. Also Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are back, Elton, Langlade County (Steve Janke).

April 18 Prairie Pond is now ice-free in UW-Green Bay's Prairie Pond, the latest date in the last 18 years.

Tom Erdman reports Fox and Chipping Sparrows, Oconto County, Town of Pensaukee.
April 16
A few speckled alders (Alnus incana) in flower (mature polllen released). This is 6 days later than the previous late date, in the last 28 years of monitoring. Last year this same tree flowered 34 days earlier.  
Northern Flicker in the yard, City of Green Bay (Brian Pierce).  
aspen buds Buds of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides). This is often mistaken as being in flower. Flowering will follow soon, but this is just the enlarging bud of the "catkin" (ament).
April 15

Today is the first day that I've seen a Great Egret in our pond in Allouez, near the East River, and they are every-day visitors when they are "in town". [Brian Pierce reports that he saw a Great Egret flying over City of Green Bay on o4/14]

I haven't been seeing fresh castings, but the earthworms are at least near the surface because I've seen Robins successfully catching them.

still snow April 15

Here's a photo for future reference if we forget how long the winter lasted in 2013. UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum, April 15, 2013.

Laona 80 miles NNW reports 17 inches of snow still on the ground today and Lac Vieux Desert, about 125 miles NNW, still has 28 inches (including 9.5 inches in the last 4 days)!!

UWGB Prairie Pond And PrairiePond is still frozen, though I'm sure you would not be able to walk on it safely today.
  Josh Martinez reports numerous Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers calling at Point au Sauble, Brown County, WI this evening.
April 14

Green Bay received 0.5 inches of new snow.

In spite of the above, Tom Erdman reports a short period of calling of Wood frogs, Oconto County, Town of Pensaukee. None since.

April 13 Green Bay received 0.5 inches of new snow.
April 12
baird Creek

More snow (2.5 inches in Green Bay). The surge of rain and meltwater in Baird Creek is at about the highest point of this spring so far. Not much else is progressing. A beautiful day for a walk in the woods though.

April 11

Winter drags on with predictions of snow and/or sleet today and tomorrow and high temperature in mid-30's. Green Bay received 0.5 inches of snow.

Baird Creek The recent rain and snow have increased the flow in Baird Creek again.

April 10
ice storm icestorm

Green Bay and much of northeastern Wisconsin awoke to new snow (2.5 inches) over frozen rain, followed in the morning by strong winds and temperatures hovering in the mid-30's (only rising to 34° by 3 p.m.). Green Bay had 0.58" precipitation before midnight and another 0.97 inch after midnight.

The media is mostly calling it an "ice storm", which it was,

snow but it was a snow storm too.
April 9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet back, City Green Bay. Poor photo, foggy, low light and he just wouldn't sit still! [Josh Martinez reports both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets on UWGB, April 5]

Belted Kingfisher and Hermit thrush, Point au Sauble, Brown County (Josh Martinez).

Wood duck, Allouez (Erin Giese) Also woodchuck.

  Fog and light rain most of the day today in Green Bay. The southernmost portion of Green Bay, south of Longtail Point, is now mostly ice-free, alhtough there is still much ice farther north.
April 8 Pied-billed and Horned Grebes, UWGB at Green Bay shoreline (Tom Prestby)
April 6

Green Bay received 1.4 inches of new snow.

Ruffed Grouse drumming, Oconto County, Pensaukee (Tom Erdman).

Eastern Phoebe singing, Waukechon Township, Shawano County (Joel Whitehouse). Also on UWGB on April 10 (Erin Gnass)

April 5
deer with scarf


Even the bronze deer are finding the persistent winter weather a hardship (no word on the brass monkeys).

  This is the first day of flower for the earliest silver maple (Acer saccharinum) tree I have been able to find in Green Bay. In the last 28 years this is tied (with 1996) for the latest date it has ever started to flower.
  Woodcock calling, Waukechon Township, Shawano County (Joel Whitehouse).
April 4
  The ice has gone off the East River at my usual location at the east end of Beaupre Street in Allouez. Only once in 28 years has the ice gone out any later (April 10, 1996).
ice Winter is still slow to end in northeastern Wisconsin. The flow of Baird Creek has varied with the weather and although there is still quite a lot of snow in the valley, the peak melt water seems to have passed. Note the two layers of ice with icicles, marking two previous higher water levels.
voles It appears that the meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) had another very good year, as reflected in the very large numbers of grass tunnels and openings in old fields at UW-Green Bay.
April 3

One of my dogs had a woodtick today, Oconto County, Town of Pensaukee (Tom Erdman). [this is exceptionally early in my experience in Wisconsin, especially so with the considerable snow-cover that remains, gf]

Geese on eggs, UW-Green Bay (Tom Erdman). Also 2 woodcock on UWGB.

A Bluebirds (8) back, UW-Green Bay (Josh Martinez).

Red Fox out and about hunting mid-day, Allouez near the East River (Kate Hutton).

Meadow Larks near Dyckesville, Brown County (Josh Martinez).

April 2 Great Blue Heron on East River, Allouez (Kate Hutton). [I also saw it there the next day, GF]
April 1

The Green Bay area still has conspicuous snow snow and the bay is ice-covered north to the tip of Door County, except for small areas near the mouth of the Fox River. Lake Winnebago is also fully ice-covered, as is Lake Poygan and much of Lake Butte des Morts.

The flow of Baird Creek was about peak yesterday. The slight decrease this morning may have been due to the cold night and cold morning. Green Bay's predicted high for the day is 34° F.

Killdeer on UW-Green Bay campus.

I saw some tracks of a woodchuck in the yard yesterday, but this morning I had a visual confirmation, East Green Bay (Brian Pierce).

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Last updated on May 20, 2015