Jeffers Foundation


Data from Freshwater Society Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac (Jim Gilbert for Phenology and Rod Nerdahl for Astronomy)


Phenology: Fourth Week of August

Buckets of zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and apples appear on our back steps, put there by some unknown benefactor. The warbler migration has begun; black-and-white, yellow, and Tennessee warblers, and many American redstarts are moving through. Indian and big bluestem grasses shed pollen and stand tall on Minnesota prairies. Insects that sing through the night include snowy tree crickets, cone-headed grasshoppers, katydids, common black crickets, black-horned tree crickets, and Carolina ground crickets.

August 20, 2016 - Indian-pipes, puffballs, inky caps, and at least a dozen other mushroom species were up.

View the August Phenology Information from the Freshwater Society Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac >>

Species of the Month

Water lily (Nymphaea tuberosa)

Water lily (<em>Nymphaea tuberosa</em>)
Mary Selby

Quiet waters, not too deep, and a silty bottom are the conditions in lakes, ponds, and streams that white water-lilies need to live. Their rootstocks (rhizomes) have only a few rootlets and lie buried in the muck as an anchor. Rising from rootstocks are leaf and flower stalks, very strong and as pliable as rubber. The floating circular leaves are deeply notched, about a foot wide and green on both sides. The outside flower petals are canoe-shaped and each helps float the six-inch magnolia-like flowers. The flowers open in the morning and close in the afternoon. Moose make water-lily pads a principal item of their diet, and both beavers and muskrats feed on various parts of the plant. Countless fish, frogs, insects and other animals make use of habitat provided by the water-lily plants.

Astronomy: August

Venus is at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The brightest thing in the sky, except for the Sun and the Moon, Venus is the object most often mistaken for a UFO. If you live near the metro you will likely assume it is an airplane coming in for a landing and yet, minutes later, it hasn't moved. Venus is so amazingly bright because its thick cloud layer reflects more than 75% of the sunlight that hits it.

Morning Stars

Mercury moves from the evening sky, into the morning, reaching Greatest Western Elongation on August 26, 18.3 E Sunrise degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view it while at its highest point above the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn sky.

Evening Stars

The planet Venus reaches greatest eastern elongation of 45.9 degrees from the Sun on August 7. This is the best time to view Venus since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the bright planet in the western sky after sunset. At the same time, you will find Jupiter in the southwest 22 degrees above the horizon early in the month, and 15 degrees above at the end. The Moon will visit Venus on August 13 and 14, and Jupiter on August 16, and then make a close pass of Saturn on August 21 and Mars on August 23. Find them early in the month in the southeast at sunset, then higher in the southern sky by month's end.

Sun Declination

View the August Astronomy Information from the Freshwater Society Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac >>


First common ragweed shedding pollen:
2016 July 31
2015 August 1
2014 August 7
2013 August 4
2012 July 18




4th, Last Quarter Moon - 1:18 pm

6th, Moon near Aldebaran - 3:00 pm

10th, Moon perigee (222,500 miles) - 1:06 pm

11th, New Moon Harvest (Ojibwe) - 4:58 am

12th, Perseids Meteor Shower peak - 1:46 pm

18th, First Quarter Moon - 2:48 am

23rd, Moon apogee (252,119 miles) - 1:06 pm

26th, Full Moon - 6:56 am

29th, Moon apogee (251,228 miles) - 6:32 am

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