May 21 2015
Throw Back Thursday: A Southwestern Pennsylvania Phenology for Late May and Early June
As we head into late May and early June the natural world is gearing up for the solstice. Here’s a hint of what you’ll see and hear:
- Long daylight as we approach the summer solstice. Today in Pittsburgh is 14 hours, 36 minutes long. By June 15th we’ll have 15 hours and 4 minutes of daylight.
- Nesting! Everywhere birds are singing, courting, defending their territory, carrying nesting material, carrying food, feeding fledglings, warning of danger. Chestnut-sided warblers like this one are nesting in the Laurel Highlands. Canada warblers jump out of the bushes to yell at me when I hike at Quebec Run Wild Area. Not to be missed!
- New flowers blooming, especially long-tubed flowers that feed hummingbirds and butterflies.
- Fireflies, crickets and dragonflies. When will you hear the first crickets?
- Baby bunnies, baby birds, babies of all kinds.
- And my personal favorite: Fledging time for young peregrine falcons, the best time of all to watch peregrines. Stay tuned to this blog for Fledge Watch dates which I’ll announce soon.
Now’s the best time to observe Nature and, frankly, I’d much rather be outdoors than at my computer. So I’m going out to enjoy it!
p.s. When I wrote this article in 2009 we didn’t have the crazy weather we’re experiencing this spring: temperatures in the 30’s, then the 90’s, then back again to the 30’s this weekend. What a Weather Yo-yo!