Friday, May 31, 2013

First Monarch Butterfly

What: The first Monarch Butterfly I've seen this year
Where: In the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, in the courtyard with Arikidea
When: 4:45 pm on Friday, May 31
Observer: Abbie
Conditions: Partly sunny and perfectly delightful (now that the flash hail storm is past)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

First Fledgling

What: A dark bird with downy fuzz, especially above the eyes. I infer its age by its proportions (large eye and beak), behavior (chirping and not flying), and under-developed plumage. Probably a Common Grackle.
Where: Appropriately, on the pedestal of Henry Moore's Reclining Mother and Child
When: 8:45 am on Thursday, May 30
Observer: Abbie
Conditions: Warm and muggy, having rained the preceding night.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Still Trilling

What: I went out to video the tadpoles when I heard more trilling.
Where: The pond at Spoonbridge and Cherry
When: About 3 pm on Wednesday, May 29
Observer: Abbie
Conditions: Lightly raining and warm.

Other notes: I heard a small flock of Cedar Waxwings and after much efforts to locate them, I saw about 5 up high in the pines along the Garden's west edge. I quickly scouted the Garden again, at about 5:30, and again heard waxwings, this time at the east edge. As before, eventually their sound and movement disclosed their location to me.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tadpole Hatch at Spoonbridge

What: The tadpoles have hatched! Just like we noticed last year, when they first hatch they remain in a cluster and stay mostly still. We think there are considerably fewer toad offspring this year compared to last, but it'd be difficult to make a quantitative comparison. My extremely rough guess is that we're seeing about 30% of what we saw last year.
Where: in the pond near Spoonbridge and Cherry
When: 4:30 pm on Tuesday, May 28
Observers: Christina and Abbie
Conditions: Overcast

Friday, May 24, 2013

Overdue Report

Things are happening so fast I scarcely have time for "constant vigilance," not to mention time for posting reports! But the good news is that Open Phenology has a new collaborator. Walker gallery assistant Matt set out on a garden expedition today and reported back his discovery to me. This past week is represented by the smattering of news below:

What: Toads heard trilling!
Where: The pond near Spoonbridge and Cherry
When: Monday, May 20 at 8:30 am
Observer: Abbie
Conditions: Just for reference, last year's trilling phenomena started in late April and seemed to conclude by May 17. And last year by May 21, there were tadpoles.

What: Strings of toads eggs
Where: The pond near Spoonbridge and Cherry
When: Tuesday, May 21 at 1 pm
Observers: Christina and Abbie
Conditions: Clumps of eggs were not floating at the surface, like I had seen them last year. They were submerged and I almost missed seeing them.

What: Robins on nests
Where: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
When: Tuesday, May 21 at 1 pm
Observer: Christina and Abbie
Conditions: One of these occupied nests is in Spotty's territory.

What: Mystery aquatic organism --- about 1.5 inch long, gray, and flat. It is seen undulating and constantly in a waving S-shape.
Where: The pond at Spoonbridge, near the drains on the west edge.
When: Friday, May 24, ~12 pm
Observer: Matt
Conditions: Could this be a leach? At first I thought nematode but maybe not if it's flat. Matt and I will continue the investigation and post photo documentation if possible.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spotty is back in his spot

What: Last year, my (constantly vigilant) colleague Christina and I noticed a partially leucistic American Robin in the Sculpture Garden. We named him "Spotty" because of his markings, which afforded us opportunity to track him as an individual. And yesterday, I saw him exactly where I expected to see him. Welcome back, Spotty!
Where: East edge of the Sculpture Garden, between Nautilus and X with Columns.
When: 10 am, Wednesday, May 8
Observer: Abbie. But soon, Christina too will be on the scene, exercising vigilance and emitting enthusiasm. I'm sure photos will follow.
Conditions: A little overcast.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BioBlitz Coming Soon!

Hello, readers! Mark your calendars for the annual BioBlitz event.

When: June 14 (starting at 5 pm) through June 15 (ending at 5 pm)

Where: Coldwater Spring

More information: Visit the Mississippi River Fund website