rainfall

Hartley Nature Center/Facebook

Larry Weber says he got it wrong last week.

He said the warm temps would probably mean that we'd get summer, autumn, and winter all in one month.

Turns out, we got them all in ONE WEEK.

Peter M. Dziuk/Minnesota Wildflowers

Much cooler weather seemed strange and remarkable this past week, but Larry Weber says, that's because temperatures dropped down to "normal" from nasty hot.

Lisa Johnson/JR Kelsey

July has lost its crack at record-setting heat for the month, and its regained a couple of inches on the rainfall deficit.

But what it's losing in hours of daylight and birdsong in the morning, it's more than making up for in young birds and animals, the next batch of wildflowers, and, of course, berries.

Lisa Johnson

Next week at this time, we'll be celebrating the longest day of the year with almost 16 hours of light, and the first day of summer.

If you want to celebrate now, though, go ahead; Larry calls it summer when the wildflowers out in the open outnumber the ones in the woods.

Trees are blooming, birds are raising babies, infant turtles are being threatened by infant racoons, love is in the air for mink and green frogs ... now if it would just rain.  About five inches worth would catch us up nicely - just not all at once.

©Lisa Johnson

For June to stay on track, precipitation-wise, we'd need to get about an inch of rain per week, and that's not counting the deficit we're carrying over from May.

The not-great news is that some vernal ponds are already evaporating due to the dryness.

The good news?  Fireflies and lady's-slippers!

Jeremy Austin/Flickr

Take advantage of the breezy days; Larry Weber says the northwesterly winds this morning are doing a fine job of keeping the mosquitos and blackflies away.

There's also still time to catch the tail end of the first phase of wildflowers and the beginning of the second, plus frogs are calling, birds are nesting, turtles are laying eggs and you can't swing a dandelion without hitting a butterfly or dragonfly!

55Laney69/Flickr

So far, August is shaping up to be July ... at 50% intensity, or something.

It's been warmer than normal (but not as much as last month) and drier than normal (but not as much as last month).

"Awesome August," as Larry calls it, does have it's own unique charms, too: like it's own wildflowers, the earlier wildflowers going to seed, and an abundance of animals, birds and insects on the move.

©Lisa Johnson

Larry Weber's not on social media, but its tentacles reached out to him anyway so he could answer the trending question: are there more white pelicans around here than usual for this time of year?

And here's some Phenology phenology: what we were talking about last year at this time:

Seabamirium [via Flickr]

Larry Weber is an educator, author and naturalist and he joins us every Friday for Backyard Almanac.

© Superior National Forest [via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber observes the terrific autumnal conditions this morning, including aerial spider webs in the trees, bird migrations (robins, Canada geese, crows, flickers, warblers, et al.), young coyotes, newly-independent fawns, and butterflies.  Rainfall totals are the 13th highest on record (dating back to 18701), five inches above normal.  Wasps and hornets are gathering on goldenrod as they start to seek winter homes.  Late blooms include sunflowers, aster. Blackberries are still on hand, and the first phase of fall leaves are beginning to appear.

Between the fall wildflowers, the 45 different kinds of goldenrod that grow in Minnesota and the blackberries, suffice it to say that when he's out driving, Larry Weber's attention is everywhere BUT the road!

jimflix!/Flickr

For the first time in over a year, a month averaged cooler than normal temperatures.

As May splashed  off in its yellow rain boots, June burst on the scene yesterday with a high temperature of 79: perfect for enjoying apple blossoms, baby birds, frog calls and mostly mosquito-free conditions.