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Fall 2006 Phenology by Naturalist Jim Gilbert


1 Garden roses are blooming nicely; lawns are green. Some red fall color on sumacs.

2 Migrating warblers are moving through: Nashville, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black and White and American Redstarts. High temperature of 75 degrees and a 2” rainfall today in the Twin Cities. It’s wild rice harvest time in Northern Minnesota.

3 European Mountain Ash trees have clusters of bright orange fruit. In the Lutsen/Tofte area the prime growing season has passed and fall colors are coming in with paper birches showing about 25% yellow. Mountain Maples are showing red, yellow and orange. Lake Superior is down by eight inches.

4 Today’s the last day we’ve seen numbers of Baltimore Orioles at the feeders. They’re migrating to Central America for the winter.

5 New England Asters and Mexican Sunflowers are blooming and attract migrating Monarch Butterflies. Arrival of first White-throated Sparrows.

8 First Blue Jays are migrating through. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are enjoying fields of Jewelweed.

9 Today’s the first day since May 21st (111 days) that we’ve not reached at least 60 degrees (59 was registered). Low of 19 degrees up in Embarrass this morning.

17 Yellow-rumped Warblers are moving through in large numbers. Raft of American Coots seen on Lake Minnetonka.

20 Our first frost also brings the first morning ice on the birdbath. First raft of coots arrives on Lake Waconia.

21 Last Baltimore Oriole seen. Baudette and the Voyageurs National Park are in their peak color.

22 Barn Swallows are still around. Dahlias and mums are blooming nicely. American Bittersweet is showing its bright orange fruit.

26 Annual Cicada still buzzing. High of 76 degrees.

27 First Dark-eyed Juncos arrive.

29 Last Ruby-throated Hummingbird seen. Migrating flocks of American Robins are seen.

30 Asian beetles are numerous.


1 High temperature of 84 degrees. Sumac shrubs continue to show brilliant reds. Sugar Maples along Summit Avenue in St. Paul are showing beautiful red color. Jackson, Benson and Glencoe hit 90 degrees.

2 Last Monarch Butterfly seen.

3 Today seems to be the overall peak of fall color in the Twin Cities.

5 American Robins and Cedar Waxwings are feeding on crab-apple fruit.

9 American Tree Sparrows arrive in the Twin Cities. Along the North Shore Quaking Aspens and Paper Birch are still spectacular in their yellow foliage.

10 Third morning of scattered frost.

11 First snow flurries.

12 Our low of 23 degrees means first hard freeze of the season. A late migrating hummingbird spotted at a feeder in Red Wing.
14 More fall migrants arrive: Fox Sparrows, and ruby- and golden-crowned kinglets.

20 Regent, Haralson, Fireside and Honeygold apples are being harvested.

21 Tamarack Trees at fall color peak. Red Oaks are still showing some dark colors.

23 Field corn harvesting is in full swing. Soybean harvest nearly complete. Milkweed is shedding its seeds on silver-white parachutes.

26 Dark-eyed Juncos are the most numerous of my feeder birds.

28 Late sighting of a painted turtle sunning itself on a log.

30 High temperature of 67 degrees; 17 degrees above normal.

31 Flocks of migrating Tundra Swans passing overhead.