A week-by-week look at what is happening in nature.
A special thanks to Virginia Barlow’s Ginny’s Calendar in Northern Woodlands Magazine.
Floating fragments of cattails in ponds may be the result of muskrats feeding on cattail rhizomes, a muskrat staple / Ring-necked snakes are laying eggs in and under rotten logs. Several females may use the same nest / Toads end their three- to six-week tadpole stage and venture onto land / Female eastern milk snakes lay about a dozen eggs in July. They will hatch in six to eight weeks / Yarrow blooms all summer. The leaves can be chewed to relieve toothaches.
Roadsides are looking good if they are lined with Queen Anne’s lace and chicory / Grackles like to eat beetles, even the Japanese beetles now emerging from the soil / As caddisfly larvae grow, they add new material to the front ends of their cases / The black-throated blue warbler also has a black face and black sides. He sings a lot, continuing late into the summer / Six-spotted green tiger beetles use speed and their sharp pincers to nab other insects.
It’s wild strawberry time / Young great blue herons, almost ready to fledge, are walking on the branches that hold up their nest / Chipmunks are busy harvesting shadbush fruits / Hummingbirds get protein from eating insects trapped in sap or nectar and have been know to pilfer them from spider webs / Thistle seeds are the goldfinch’s favorite food; plus, goldfinches and purple thistle look good together.
This year’s male bear cubs now weigh about 40 pounds and females about 35 pounds / In conifer forests, the fragrant, nodding flowers of one-flowered pyrola are opening / One good thing about black flies is that they go to bed early; not true of mosquitoes or no-see-ums / Look for yellow robber flies hanging around beehives, sometimes gobbling up pollen-laden bees as they come home from work / Peak fledging time for bobolinks in fields that have not been mowed yet.