Monday, May 1, 2017

Spring: are we there yet? #phenology

Yesterday, a male rose-breasted grosbeak arrived at one of our feeders. That was a cheery sign of Spring and a reminder that it's time to clean and fill the hummingbird feeders. I expect some arrivals by mid-month or sooner, barring unforeseen weather circumstances.

male rose-breasted grosbeak
male rose-breasted grosbeak
Photo by J. Harrington

Although snow has been recorded in Minnesota eleven of the year's twelve months, today's snow flakes mixed in with the rain drops in midday 36℉ temperatures come dangerously close to unforeseen circumstances. May Day this year is more a weather-related distress call than a celebration of Spring. The upside, and there is one, is that cold, damp wet weather really diminishes the grassfire potential.

Minnesota fire danger 5/1/17

Later this week, the sun, whatever that is, is supposed to come out. I'm going to hope that the forecast is spot on and that the wild flower season hasn't totally passed by under cloud cover. Many of the local bushes are blossoming but taking pictures under heavily overcast conditions too often leaves even Spring wildflowers looking sort of drab. Thursday or Friday are looking particularly promising and I might even be able to leave the thermal underwear at home.

May none of your Mayflowers be full of invasive species.

May


By Jonathan Galassi


The backyard apple tree gets sad so soon,
takes on a used-up, feather-duster look
within a week.

The ivy’s spring reconnaissance campaign
sends red feelers out and up and down
to find the sun.

Ivy from last summer clogs the pool,
brewing a loamy, wormy, tea-leaf mulch
soft to the touch

and rank with interface of rut and rot.
The month after the month they say is cruel
is and is not. 


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