Jul 03 2009
If you’ve never looked at milkweed up close, this is the month to do it.
All across western Pennsylvania a wide variety of milkweed is blooming and with it come the insects who depend it, most notably monarch butterflies.
What else can you expect to see this month?
Here are the highlights for early July. Chuck Tague’s phenology has even more.
- Most birds have fledglings or second broods. Bald eagles fledge in early July. Robins are on their second or third set of eggs.
- Cedar waxwings and American goldfinches are just starting to nest.
- Some shorebirds begin their fall migration. Watch for short-billed dowitchers and yellowlegs at pond edges.
- The first cicadas begin calling. In Pittsburgh they used to emerge around July 15th but I’ve noticed that date has moved up in the last 10 years. How early will they be this month?
- Katydids will start to “sing.” As a child I never heard katydids but I often heard about them as joke on my first name. They’re a much better bug than the jokes were.
- Look for flowers, fruits, dragonflies, butterflies and moths.
- And don’t forget to look closely at milkweed. If you find small white dots on the underside of the leaves, they’re monarch butterfly eggs.
(close-up of Common Milkweed by Marcy Cunkelman)