Jeffers Foundation

PHENOLOGY & ASTRONOMY

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

Phenology

Phenology: Third Week of July

Look for the first flights of Canada geese; whole family groups can be seen in the air. The adults have been flightless since mid-June and their young are flying for the first time. It's time to enjoy that first meal of locally grown sweet corn. Soybeans have begun to set pods. Common sunflowers have begun blooming along highways and in gardens. Numerous Japanese beetles - an invasive species - are feeding on roses, grapes, linden trees, and many other plants in the Twin Cities area. In southwest and western Minnesota, and on into the Dakotas, the combining of wheat has begun. Across southern Minnesota much of the field corn is pollinating (tasseling and silking). In northern Minnesota, fireweed has radiant rose-purple flowers, wild blueberries are ripe, and dragonflies are numerous.

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

Species of the Month

Green heron (Butorides virescens)

Green heron (<em>Butorides virescens</em>)
Travis Daniel Bonovsky

Green herons are summer residents and nesters primarily in the southern half of Minnesota that winter from the southernmost U.S. to northern South America, arriving back here in April through May. They are a small, chunky heron with short legs, greenish black cap, green back, and chestnut neck. Their habitat includes streams, ponds, and marshes with woodland cover. Nests are often built well up into trees. Their food consists of fish, frogs, insects, and other small animals. They forage individually. Sometimes green herons drop insects or other small objects onto the water's surface to attract fish, making them one of the few known tool-making species.

Astronomy: July

Highlights
Highlights
In the early morning hours of July 10, the Moon will rise at 3:20 am, with the red giant, Aldebaran, just 0.05 degrees behind. At 3:32 am, the Moon will pass over Aldebaran and block it from view - an occultation. Just 16 minutes later, Aldebaran will emerge from the Moon's western limb.

Morning Stars

Mars begins the month as a morning star, rising at 11 am, and E Sunrise by July 27, has reached opposition, rising at sunset and staying up all night. This is also the best time to see it through a telescope, as it is a mere 35.8 million miles from Earth. It is joined by a Full Moon that night.

Evening Stars

Early in the month, Saturn is not even four degrees above the southeast horizon at sunset, but is at 16 degrees altitude by the end. It is joined by the Moon on July 24. Jupiter is 30 degrees up in the south at sunset. It sets by 2 am early in the month and by midnight toward the end. Saturn is joined by the Moon on July 20. Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation on July 12, reaching 26.4 degrees from the Sun, then making a quick exit before the month is out. Look for the Moon near Mercury on July 14, and then near Venus on July 15. Venus continues to push away from the Sun, 44 degrees by month's end.

Sun Declination

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

LOOK FOR

First field corn silking (Carver County):
2016 July 7
2015 July 10
2014 July 16
2013 July 20
2012 July 2

TEACHER PHENOLOGY PREVIEW

TEACHER ASTRONOMY PREVIEW

July ASTRONOMY PHENOMENA

6th, Last Quarter Moon - 2:51 am

6th, Earth at aphelion (Earth-Sun distance = 94,507,803 miles) - 11:47 am

10th, Moon occults Aldebaran - 3:32-3:48 am

12th, New Moon Midsummer (Ojibwe) - 9:48 pm

13th, Moon perigee (222,097 miles) - 3:24 am

19th, First Quarter Moon - 2:52 pm

27th, Moon apogee (252,415 miles) - 12:43 am

27th, Full Moon - 3:20 pm

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