Phenology and Nature Notes by Discovery Center Staff

10-15-17/2020: First measurable snowfall!  up to 2-3 inches in some areas, still some on the ground a few days later

10/14/2020: Still two big brown bats living in a bat roost on campus!

10/12/2020: Dark eyed juncos are all over the place moving through the area.

10/10/2020: Tamarack trees are becoming fully golden before they drop their needles!

10/8/2020: 10 trumpeter swans staged for migration on Statehouse Lake this afternoon!

10/1/2020: Leaf peak color came early this year, but is lasting a little longer than usual.

7/29/2020: Jewelweed (Touch-me-not) is in bloom

7/24/2020: Bunchberry berries are ripe and red, hazelnuts forming on plants

7/16/2020: Ghost plants are coming up!

7/14/2020: Bee balm in bloom

7/9/2020: Indian pipe just starting to come up

7/4/2020: Tiny baby toads all over!

6/30/2020: First monarch chrysalis

6/24/2020:  Wild strawberries fruiting, yarrow in bloom - all the orange and yellow hawkweed are in bloom!

6/9/2020: Blue flag iris in bloom, turtles really on the move to lay eggs now

6/8/2020: Bunchberries are in bloom!

6/7/2020: Fireflies are out!

6/5/2020: First monarch butterfly egg on milkweed in our milkweed garden at the Center!

6/4/2020: Blue bead lily in bloom, turtles beginning to travel out of the water to lay eggs.  WATCH OUT FOR THEM!!

6/2/2020: Canada mayflower (false lily of the valley) in bloom!

6/1/2020: Last year's painted turtles are emerging!  So look out for these quarter sized babies moving about.  Some of the young birds are starting to fledge- including pine siskins and goslings are out!

5/30/2020: Frost warning tonight, had to cover plants!  Temps down into mid 30's!  Frogs calling now are peepers, tree frogs, leopard frogs and toads.  Wood frogs are pretty much done, may have a few green frogs calling now.

5/28/2020: Yellow Swallowtail butterflies are everywhere!

5/27/2020: Star flower in bloom, reports of small fawns being spotted in the area

5/26/2020: First Monarch butterfly at the Discovery Center!!!!

5/25/2020: Fringed polygala and blueberries in bloom

5/23/2020: Toads trilling

5/21/2020: Wild strawberry in bloom, canada mayflower and star flower plants emerging, no flowers yet!

5/20/2020: Wood anenome, goldthread, and wild ginger in bloom

5/18/2020: Black and white warblers calling

5/17/2020: Ovenbirds back and calling

5/16/202: Eastern tree frogs out and calling, Nashville warblers, Northern Parula, broadwing hawks, chestnut sided warblers and common yellowthoats all back and singing!

5/15/2020: American toads out and calling

5/12/2020: barren strawberry in bloom, more hummingbirds being reported every day, orioles are back and around

5/10/2020: More trailing arbutus up, bog rosemary in bloom, leatherleaf almost in bloom in the bog, frog eggs off bog platform at the Center, bitterns are back

5/8/2020: Dandelions (a VERY important flower for pollinators) are starting to come up!

5/6/2020: Blue headed vireo and black throated green warbler singing at the VanVliet Hemlocks- also a GIANT green frog was hanging out in a small vernal pool by the parking lot

5/5/2020: Purple finch, rose breasted grosbeak and osprey flying overhead with a fish at the Center!

5/4/2020: First hummingbird spotted near the Discovery Center!

5/3/2020: The past few days brought: painted turtles, pine warblers, blue and green wing teals, and eagles sitting on their nests

5/1/2020: Salamanders leaving ponds and heading back into the woods

4/30/2020: Wild leeks are coming in, trout lily and spring beauty are in bloom- snapping turtle was out on the edge of a back road

4/28/2020: Trailing arbutus in bloom in some areas, golden crowned kinglets calling

4/26/2020: Other observations this past week by Naturalist Annie: leopard frogs out, merlins and broadwing hawks back, alder flycatcher, ruby crowned kinglets, white throated sparrows are all back!

4/25/2020: A walk at the Awassa Trail in St. Germain brought a few new birds: Hermit thrush call note (not song), Yellow rumped (Myrtle) Warbler singing, and a yellow-shafted (northern) flicker on the way home.  Also, ephemeral woodland flowers coming out: hepatica in bloom and trailing arbutus!

Salamanders are also coming to the ponds to mate!

4/24/2020: Observations from a hiker at the Center: porcupine strolling on the orange/blue trail, wood frogs mating, possible nesting of a common merganser on Statehouse Lake, one turkey egg spotted, and a mouse appears to be living in the lakeside equipment shed 🙂

4/23/2020: After a short pause in the advancement of spring due to tall the snow and colder temps, Spring Peepers have now joined the wood frogs in their woodland pond chorus!

4/19/2020:  ICE OUT on Statehouse lake!  Yellow bellied sapsucker holes are fresh on a maple tree today! They are back!

4/12-13/2020: 7-10+ inches of fresh snow fell in the Northwoods

4/11/2020: Ospreys returning to their nests, spotted bringing material back; geese on nests

4/9/2020: Naturalist Licia had a mosquito land on her 🙁

4/7/2020: Wood frogs calling, loons returning to some open lakes, chives are starting to come up in the garden

4/5/2020: Finished up the last batch of maple syrup; brown creepers singing and a mourning cloak butterfly was flying around!

4/3/2020: Phoebes and Song sparrows have returned to the Discovery Center and are singing!

4/2/2020: Winter wrens singing

4/1/2020: Woodcock aerial display reported (no joke!)

3/25/2020 - 4/5/2020:  Migratory and Returning Birds:

Mallards, Wood Ducks, Sandhill Cranes, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Dark-eyed Juncos, Great Blue Herons, Turkey Vultures, American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, Tundra Swans (flyover)

  • Goldfinch males in breeding plumage
  • Bald Eagles courtship display
  • Northern Saw-whet Owls calling and nesting
  • Eastern Chipmunks emerged
  • Beavers are more active on shorelines
  • Mourning Cloak Butterflies emerged
  • Ticks emerged

3/24/2020:  Black bears are making an appearance in the MW area!  Usually males will come out first, as the females remain in the den with cubs a bit longer.

3/11/2020:  Tree sparrows singing while migrating through!  (also a pileated flew in for a second at the feeders 🙂 )

3/10/2020:  Canada geese back on the Manitowish River!

3/8/2020:  Red-bellied woodpecker at private feeder in Minocqua

3/5/2020:  Maple sap flowing!!

3/4/2020:  Red squirrels mating

2/29/2020:  Two barred owls contact calling at Van Vliet Hemlocks

2/15/2020:  Trumpeter swans have stayed all winter on the Manitowish River

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Our mission is to enrich lives and inspire an ethic of care for Wisconsin's Northwoods, through the facilitation of connections among nature, people and community.

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