Phenology Log 2018

Fall 2018

  • Nov. 14 – Innsbrook receives 9 inches of snow, a near record for so early in the season.
  • Nov. 9 – A record overnight cold of 16 degrees was felt at Innsbrook.
  • Nov. 8 – One of the earliest snows to cover the ground in many years.
  • Nov. 6 – The fall has seemed very short this year. Temps went from a high in the 80s to the 40s in just a few weeks span, skipping the ever-so-pleasant 60s. This spring was equally short as we went from winter to summer temps in a matter of a few weeks.
  • Oct. 31 – The forest oaks have peaked with their rust, bronze, and orange leaves. Because the maples were slow this year, and have been particularly bright yellow, the range of fall foliage colors this past few days has been excellent.
  • Oct. 30 – We spot the first flying lady bug beetles of the fall on a warm day seeking their winter habitat, several weeks later than last year.
  • Oct. 28 – The upper mature oaks quickly turned bronze putting the two peaks of fall color within the same week, unlike previous years when dogwoods, sycamores, hickories,and maples would turn in early October, instead of later like this year, followed by elder oaks 1-2 weeks later.
  • Oct. 26 – Leaves in the forest start falling in quantity for the first time.
  • Oct. 25 – The lower forest, mostly maples, is now at peak fall colors.
  • Oct. 21 – Elder forest oaks finally begin to show a bit of color at their tall tops
  • Oct. 20 – Finally, a night with temperatures in the low 30’s which brings a frost to Innsbrook.
  • Oct. 17 – Nursery maples start to turn red
  • Oct. 16 – Most forest trees have still not turned colors
  • Oct. 15 – First night with temps dipping into the 30’s
  • Oct. 12 – A few more forest maples have turned yellow, but overall foliage is very slow to change this year with no overnight lows than the 40’s as of yet.
  • Oct. 11 – Temps were 20 degrees warmer than normal early in the week and 20 degrees lower by the end of the week.
  • Oct. 8 – As the second week of October begins the foliage seems 1-2 weeks late
  • Oct. 7 – Weather is more like summer with highs of 90, some 17 degrees warmer than average. Overnight lows are setting records of warmest lows for the day.
  • Oct. 6 – First leaves start falling en masse more from early fall dryness than chill
  • Oct. 3 – Near record daytime highs of mid 90’s as well as record warm lows overnight
  • Oct. 2 – Sycamore leaves have now started to turn yellow
  • Oct. 1 – Dry silver maple leaves are falling prematurely, without much color change, perhaps due to heat and low rainfall.
  • Sept. 30 – First albino wooly caterpillars seen crossing a road
  • Sept. 29 – Sassafras tree leaves turn orange as well as Locust.
  • Sept. 28 – Virginia Creeper vines turn red almost overnight.
  • Sept. 26 – The first night of the fall with temps in the 40’s.
  • Sept. 23 – A few top leaves of sumac and dogwoods are the first to show fall red in the understory
  • Sept. 22 – Red berries are appearing on invasive bush honeysuckle
  • Sept. 20 – Today’s near record heat was only a degree shy of last year’s which was a record temp..
  • Sept. 18 – With near record heat in the mid 90’s dried leaves are falling from forest trees.
  • Sept. 15 – Wild tall grass seeds are particularly bronze this year.
  • Sept. 14 – Wild goldenrod (solidago) blooming bright yellow along forest edges.
  • Sept. 13 – Hickory nuts are raining down in unusual numbers so early.
  • Sept. 11 – First formation of geese seen practicing for winter migration.
  • Sept. 10 – Russian olive plant now bearing orange berries.
  • Sept. 9 – The spots on fawns born earlier this year are almost gone.
  • Sept. 8 – More red oak nuts and hickory acorns are falling.
  • Sept. 2 – Persimmons have started turning orange, also seems a bit early this year.
  • Aug. 28 – Acorns and other tree fruit and nuts have begun to fall out of the forest canopy; it seems early this year.

Spring 2018

  • June 16 – The spring comes to a close, feeling like we have already had a month of summer. The forest understory this year in many places is less populated by plants and ground cover as evidenced by the ability to see into and through some IBK forested areas. We wonder was this due to a late spring that caused the lower level to bloom late but which was then followed by a quick warm-up which caused the tree canopy to leaf out blocking sun before the lower level had time to flourish?
  • May 27 – Record-setting heat of 96 degrees makes this Memorial Day weekend feel more like July 4 holiday.
  • May 26 – Milkweed pods starting to open to prepare for helping migrating butterflies.
  • May 24 – First goslings sighted on the water trying to keep up with mom and dad geese.
  • May 22 – Milkweed rising fast in the warm temperatures.
  • May 20 – It was not our imagination that Spring this year was ever so short. This May is on track to be the warmest on record for the St. Louis region.
  • May 14 – Oak tree catkins rain down during a storm in a depth not seen for several years.
  • May 13 – A “flotilla’ of nearly a dozen paddle fish is seen hovering near the surface of an IBK lake.
  • May 11 – Record setting heat. The spring seemed to be less than 3 weeks long before the summer started.
  • May 8 – Oak tree seed catkins begin falling en masse covering the ground, almost two weeks later than the previous two years.
  • May 6 – First tent caterpillars seen.f
  • May 5 – Green pollen dust begins covering everything.
  • May 3 – Turtles come out on the move across IBK roads, helped 3 across on just mornings walk.
  • May 1 – Seeds and oak tree catkins begin falling from forest trees. Dandelion seed pods are out all over.
  • April 30 – Nearly all of the forest trees have begun to leaf out after a warm day with temps in the 80’s.
  • April 29 – May beetles are seen emerging out of the woods. We see our first bumble bee.
  • April 28 – The first hummingbird sighted. Redbud trees at their peak.
  • April 27 – The older stately forest oaks just overnight started to leaf out, about 1-2 weeks later than last year but still earlier than 10 years ago. They seem to be ahead of the lower canopy trees like dogwoods which usually peak before the taller oaks start so they get a good start before being shaded out.
  • April 25 – The forest maples and other lower canopy flora are still slow to show.
  • April 19 – First dogwoods inside the forest have white flowers, about 10 days later than last year.
  • April 18 – Eastern Redbud trees have bloomed with their rose-purple colored petals.
  • April 17 – Finally on a warm day, the lower understory flora of IBK forests, away from the open edges, start to show green. Dogwoods are still missing in action. The first bees of the season are seen and heard swarming the few blooming plants and nursery trees.
  • April 16 – The first green shoots of pompas grasses (Cortaderia Selloana) appear above mulch levels.
  • April 15 – Weird weather continues with snowflakes falling after record low temperatures
  • April 15 – IBK lakes are approaching full pool level for the first time in more than a half year.
  • April 14 – A rare Baltimore Oriole is seen feeding at the bird feeder.
  • April 14 – So many snails and worms are seen crossing roads after heavy overnight rains to the delight of birds.
  • April 13 – Colonies of mayapples (Podophyllum) are popping up above the bed of leaves on the forest floor. A sign that morel mushrooms wont be far behind!
  • April 13 – The purple flowers of wild vinca are seen for the first time this season, also several weeks later than last year.
  • April 12 – The white flowers of spiraea are blooming, several weeks later than last year.
  • April 11 – We go from record lows in the 20’s to record warmth of 88 degrees all in one week. How hard this must be on early spring flora and fauna.
  • April 10 – Wild onions are the mostly the only green along forest edges.
  • April 9 – A rare baby ring-neck snake with a bright white collar is seen slithering across our walk
  • April 7 – The area experiences record lows in the low 20’s overnight.
  • April 4 – Bird feeders are much busier this early Spring as in past unseasonably warmer Springs the early blooming forest and insects must have provided for them, but not this year.
  • April 2 – April begins with sleet and snow covering early blooming daffodils.
  • April 1 – March ended as one of the wettest in history.
  • March 31 – Many forest understory bushes showing tender buds, a day before an Easter snow and chill is forecasted
  • March 30 – First tick of the season found on pet
  • March 29 – Spring peeper frogs heard singing in a massive chorus
  • March 28 – First snails emerge of the season
  • March 27 – First pair of blue birds seen cavorting near a bird house
  • March 24 – So many worms crossing the roads after rain, providing treats to birds who seemed to have arrived early before other forms of spring food sources did
  • March 17 – First petite buds seen opening on invasive olive bushes
  • March 16 – First bold forest daffodils blooming, several weeks later than in last year’s warmer winter
  • March 11 – A late winter wet snowfall of 5 inches is the most snow in past 2 years. On this same date in 2017 we also had the only significant snowfall of last winter.
  • March 6 – The local herds of deer this winter have been larger than in past years. Often up to 4-6 in a group, requiring greater caution when driving. They are also eating things they don’t normally feed on.
  • March 4 – First pairs of geese seen together on Lake Konstanz
  • March 2 – First wild onions and tender buds on bushes seen along forest edge
  • March 1 – First turtle, a small ornate box, seen crossing a road, very early, too early, in the year
  • Feb. 27 – So many birds chirping and singing in the morning have brought the forests back to life after the winter
  • Feb. 24 – Daffodils have risen 2 inches above mulch
  • Feb. 23 – Robins cavorting in the underbrush
  • Feb. 21 – First worms seen crossing roads after heavy rains
  • Feb. 18 – First daffodils seen poking above mulch
  • Feb. 15 – Record high of 80 degrees in the middle of winter was 36 deg above average
  • Feb. 10 – Deer this winter have eaten more plants around the lot than we recall in previous years, including yucca, holly, and arborvitae