Phenology Log 2018

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