Phenology Log 2019

Spring 2019

  • April 20 – All forest trees – old and young, tall and short – are budding or leafing out now. The fragile-looking heart-shaped leaves of cottonwoods appear to be the furthest along. Our neighborhood ever-so-talkative red-tailed hawk sighted with a field mouse as breakfast.
  • April 19 – Just when I was ready to give up on a bountiful dogwood season, in one day the forest understory has erupted with all the shades of green imaginable and cloud bursts of white dogwood flowers deep into the forests. This is one of our favorite sights of Spring at Innsbrook.
  • April 18 – The first catkins come raining down from hickory trees. Another turtle helped crossing the road.
  • April 17 – Pollen season has started in earnest.
  • April 16 – A high today of summer-like 85 is 50 degrees above the 35 degree snow of only two days ago. How does wildlife deal with these huge swings? The elder oaks towering over Innsbrook forests, which are usually the last to leaf out, have started popping out buds about a week earlier than last year and a week later than two years ago. Redbud trees are at their peak violet color. Spotted the first water snake of the season.
  • April 15 – The dogwoods have still not flowered yet. Mayapples have risen 6-10 inches above the forest floor of leaves.
  • April 14 – On our cold early morning walk worms crossing the roads due to heavy rains are covered by a Spring snow. Daytime temps are in the 30’s only one week after they were in the 80’s. Dozens of yellow finches crowd our bird feeder on this windy cold day.
  • April 10 – First turtle (a western painted) spotted (and helped) crossing the road almost to the day from last year’s first sighting. White blooms of Spirea out just a few days earlier than last year. First green shoots of pampas grass rise above the mulch a week earlier than last year. Barred owls hooting and courting each other overnight. First insects smashed on the windshield – a good sign of a healthy ecosystem.
  • April 9 – Continued weather with temps 10 degrees warmer than average have the first ticks of the season finding us and Kyp on a hike along the Tyrolean Trail. First violet buds of Eastern Redbud trees. Bush honeysuckle has been in bloom for about 2 weeks now, earlier than last but later than previous two years.
  • April 8 – The Spring firsts keep coming in one day. The first yellow dandelions seen about 2 weeks later than 2 years ago. The first bumble bee pollinating tulips. The first hint of green at the top of older forest walnut, hickories and maples. The first mayapple plants coming out on the forest floor signaling that mushrooms won’t be far behind. Snails and slugs are out in large numbers. And the first bike ride to witness it all!
  • April 7 – With near record temps the first time into the 80’s there is an explosion of Spring in just one day. Some lower story maples are leafing out. Spring peepers frogs can be heard signing for the first time this year. First few dogwoods begin to bloom white about a week earlier than last year but 10 days later than 2 years ago. First blue bird eggs found in a nest.
  • April 6 – First day with temps over 70 degrees. First wasps seen. Old leaves frozen on trees from an early freeze last Fall are falling off.
  • April 5 – Caterpillar tent moths sparkle in the morning dew
  • April 4 – First snail of the spring seen slowly crossing a road
  • April 3 – The forest understory seems slow to come alive this spring.
  • April 2 – Watched largest herd of deer we have ever seen grazing together, 9 in total
  • April 1 – First nats flying out and around
  • March 31 – Daffodils looking sad after overnight temps into the 20’s
  • March 31 – The petite purple buds of wild vinca are now showing on the forest floor a week earlier than last year
  • March 30 – First worms and slugs out in great numbers crossing our roads during heavy rains
  • March 29 – The lakes are at full level for the first time in over a year
  • March 28 – Wild thorny gooseberry blooming
  • March 27 – Garden forsythia plants are one of the first to bloom this year
  • March 23 – A large group of rare Lesser Scaup ducks are floating our lake in pairs.
  • March 22 – First spider seen scurrying across a road.
  • March 22 – Buds appearing on red maples.
  • March 21 – First daffodils spotted opening up, about a week later than last year.
  • March 17 – Birds searching for mates and defending their territory have started flying into windows to fight their own reflection.
  • March 16 – First wild onions of the forest edges coming up through ground cover of leaves
  • March 15 – First small buds seen on forest bushes and ornamental trees.
  • March 13 – First hint of green in along the edges of forests with wild onions seen peeking up, a week later than last year.
  • March 10 – First pairs of geese seen together looking for areas to nest.
  • March 7 – First worm seen on a road after a rain.
  • March 5 – Dead box turtle found. Did he come out of hibernation too early and caught in the cold of the past week?
  • March 3 – March begins with near record-breaking cold weather near zero, and more snow and ice on the ground. More than two feet of snow has fallen this year, much greater than previous years. What must all the wildlife be doing compared to previous years where the temps were unseasonably warm already.
  • Feb. 23 – Despite the long cold winter, daffodils and other bulb perennials have risen about an inch above their mulch beds.
  • Feb. 16 – Another weekend winter snow so unlike the past few years; last year it was in the 70’s already with daffodils already popping up
  • Feb. 14 – First group of blue birds found on Valentine’s Day at bird feeders as an extra snowy winter continues on