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What Happened Outside in April 2018?

By Bill Willis

October 27, 2016

Newly hatched goslings take their first steps with Mother
Newly hatched goslings take their first steps with Mother
(Photo courtesy of Bill Willis)

The Groundhog must be playing tricks with the seasons or his weather clock must be set for another time zone.

  • This month has been exceptionally wet for an April. The lake has a high tide line.
  • Emerging hardwood tree buds may appear purple from anthocyanin before chlorophyll masks it.
  • Hardwood and pine pollen still covers most anything outside. To make matters worse, the pollen catkins and male cones are now falling.
  • The red bud seedpods can be seen growing beside last year’s brown ones.
  • The Canada Geese goslings have hatched and are following their parents.
  • The snakes are leaving their winter dens and may be sunning along the trails. Allow them plenty of space.
  • The aquatic turtles are competing for place on the sunny logs and shore edges. Soon the females will emerge from the water to lay their eggs.
  • The purple martins can be heard flying wildly and noisily around their houses.
  • The bluebirds have claimed houses and are building spring nests.
  • Wildflower Meadow beds are being prepared for a summer planting of Zinnias.
  • The transition zones, Areas B above the new pedestrian walking trail will be allowed to gradually move toward vegetation requiring less maintenance.
  • Much of the Invasive Johnson grass, Japanese Lespedeza, and Japanese stilt grasses were effectively removed when the pedestrian walking trail was graded.
  • A monarch milkweed garden plot is sprouting new Milkweed shoots. This natural area, part of the Butterfly Highway program has self-seeded native wildflowers.
    Viburnum sp. puts on a show in the Memorial Gardens
    Viburnum sp. puts on a show in the Memorial Gardens
    (Photo courtesy of Bill Willis)
  • The Memorial Garden and other flowerbeds have been groomed and mulched with pine straw
  • The bee blocks/boxes have been cleaned, repaired, and repositioned on campus.
  • The lake green algae are starting to grow in response to warmer temperatures. The blue-green cyanobacteria haven’t appeared yet.
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