Summer Natural Events
We hope this calendar encourages you to come up often and explore the trails! Dates are approximate; a hurricane or early frost may shift the schedule! Collecting animals (including insects) and picking/digging out plants are not permitted.
Last Two Weeks of June
The Summer Solstice occurs on June 21st!
☼ Astronomical Alert: Look low in the west-northwest about 30 to 45 minutes after sunset for Mercury, which reaches greatest elongation (highest above the horizon and visually farthest from the sun) on June 20. Bright yellow Saturn is above Mercury and to the left; on June 15 distant Mars can be seen to the upper right of Mars. Jupiter is the brightest planet now, in the southern sky.
You may hear a few Bullfrogs during a daytime visit. But to really hear them at their best, try to arrange to be at the pond (and very quiet) just before dusk. Scores of them can be almost deafening. Only when the Bullfrogs get quiet every few minutes will you hear the flat, banjo-like twang of the smaller Green Frogs.
The white spikes of Black Snakeroot, 3-5 feet above the forest floor, are conspicuous in the woods around the Education Pavilion.
This is a good time to look for nesting birds at TNC. Signs of breeding (other than a nest, of course) include adults carrying food in their bill (and not eating it), or carrying white fecal sacs away from the nest. Many species will have fledged young, so listen for begging calls (you know they go on, and on, and on…) and you may see the parents feed their fledglings.
First Two Weeks of JulyLook for the white flowers of Striped Wintergreen (2” – 6” tall, with a white stripe in the leathery green leaves), especially near the north end of the Yellow Trail. The waxy blooms of Indian Pipes may be evident now too.
Dragonflies and Damselflies are conspicuous over Pfister’s Pond, and will remain so throughout the summer. Challenge yourselfundefinedsee how many different kinds you can observe! It’s not as easy as you might expect, since, like birds, some species are obviously sexually dimorphic (that is, males and females of a species may look quite different).
Last Two Weeks of JulyLook for Pipevine Swallowtail eggs and caterpillars on the pipe vine over the arbor in the backyard habitat. Look for the white blossoms of Shadbush (a small tree) along the DeFilippi boardwalk.
First Two Weeks of August☼ Astronomical Alert: The Perseid Meteor Shower is best about Aug. 10-12.
Weather patterns determine when migrant warbler birds will first occur. If a cold front occurs (cooler, drier air) look for the first warblers in late July or early August. Since they typically are not singing, migrants are much less conspicuous.
Last Two Weeks of AugustThe chance of spotting migrating birds increases with each passing cold front as the month progresses. Look up now and thenundefinedwherever you areundefinedfor early migrants such as Common Nighthawk, American Kestrel, and Bald Eagle.
First Two Weeks of SeptemberTurn off the AC and open the windows to enjoy the nighttime chorus of Katydids and Snowy Tree Crickets. Goldenrod and White Wood Asters will be blooming along the trails.
Look for lingering or migrating Hummingbirds around Jewelweed or Impatiens.