Jun 10 2009
“The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” - A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson
That happy thought perfectly describes the month of June in western Pennsylvania when “children go to bed by day.” Our days are long and warm, filled with flowers, birds, babies and butterflies.
Here’s a quick list of what to look for through the rest of June. For even more, see Chuck Tague’s phenology.
- The summer solstice – and our the longest day of the year – will occur at 1:45am on June 21. Will you be awake for it? Not me.
- Babies are everywhere. Fledgling birds, including juvenile peregrines, chase their parents for a handout. Young squirrels pursue momma hoping she wasn’t serious about weaning.
- With June flowers come even more butterflies and moths. I’m “Butterfly Challenged” but here’s one I can identify that I know you’ll see this month: the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Chuck has an excellent list of June butterflies in his phenology.
- Enjoy birdsong in these last weeks of June. In July the birds will begin to fall silent, species by species, as the purpose of their songs – territory and mate attraction – ends for the year. The birds who raise more than one brood (robins and cardinals) will continue to sing, but others like the ovenbird will stop.
- Watch for fledglings. Listen for the begging calls of baby birds. Sometimes you can locate a nest this way.
- Watch out for mosquitoes and ticks. Look for the fun bugs. The dragonflies are here, even at Schenley Plaza. Soon we’ll see fireflies.
- Enjoy June wildflowers. Visit a state park, forest or woodland bike trail near you.
Enjoy it now. No need to wear a coat!
(photo by Dianne Machesney)