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 June

Look for these recently fledged birds feeding at stations: Baltimore orioles, brown thrashers, chipping sparrows, eastern bluebirds, and downy woodpeckers. Wild lupines are blooming in pink and purple profusion on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Across Minnesota, fireflies dot the countryside with their tiny flashing lights. Common purple lilacs, apple, and crabapple trees blossom in Grand Marais.

June 18, 2015: In the Waterville and Faribault areas, farmers began harvesting the second crop of alfalfa, field corn was two feet high, and soybean plants about eight inches tall. Corn and soybeans across the state did better than usual.

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

Species of the Month

Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)

Porcupine (<em>Erethizon dorsatum</em>)
Brad Bolduan

The porcupine, Minnesota's second largest rodent behind the beaver, lives in forests of the upper two-thirds of the state. With an estimated 30,000 barbed quills, porcupines are not incapacitated by a single encounter when an enemy dislodges several hundred quills. They are good swimmers for their hollow quills offer considerable buoyancy. Contrary to popular belief, porcupines cannot throw their quills.

Porcupines are active all winter long, spending most of their time in trees eating bark and resting. In summer they eat various herbaceous plants and the twigs and leaves of shrubs, and have been known to gnaw on ax handles, canoe paddles, and other wooded objects for the salt left by human sweat.

Astronomy: June

June 7-9, 2017 at 10 pm CDT
June 7-9, 2017 at 10 pm CDT
Saturn is the planet to watch this month! Find it beside the Full Moon on June 9 and opposite the Sun on June 15. Saturn is visible all night long and shines brighter than at any other time during 2017. As if that were not enough, the planet's rings are at the best angle for viewing until 2032. Although Saturn can be easily seen with unaided eyes, use a small telescope to view the rings. Check it out!

Morning Stars

Mercury is a morning star until June 21. Throughout the month, however, this elusive planet remains too close to the Sun to be seen. Consequently, Venus is the only planet visible in the pre-dawn sky. Look for dazzling Venus roughly 12 degrees above the eastern horizon. Be sure to catch the conjunction of Venus with the slender Crescent Moon before sunrise on the first day of summer.

Evening Stars

Mars has sunk so far into the Sun's glare that it is nearly impossible to locate. In contrast, Jupiter is positioned well above the southsouthwestern horizon an hour after sunset, making it the dominant object in the evening sky. Saturn, while much dimmer than Jupiter, it still a worthy sight. It appears in the southeastern sky approximately nine degrees above the horizon at 10 pm. Watch the Moon pass Jupiter on June 3 and Saturn on June 9.

Sun Declination

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

LOOK FOR

Garden roses at June peak of bloom (U of Minn. Landscape Arboretum):
2015 June 24
2014 June 25
2013 June 27
2012 June 15
2011 June 26

TEACHER PHENOLOGY PREVIEW

TEACHER ASTRONOMY PREVIEW

June ASTRONOMY PHENOMENA

1st, First Quarter Moon - 7:42 am

3rd, Venus at greatest western elongation (45.85 degrees) - 5:10 am

8th, Moon apogee; 252,507 miles - 5:10 pm

9th, Full Moon - 8:10 am

15th, Saturn at opposition: distance = 840,569,965 miles - 12:05 am

17th, Last Quarter Moon - 6:33 am

20th, June solstice; summer begins N Hemisphere - 11:24 pm

23rd, New Moon Strawberry (Ojibwe) - 9:31 pm

23rd, Moon perigee; 222,423 miles - 5:52 am

30th, First Quarter Moon - 7:51 pm

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