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Phenology with local naturalist Larry Weber every Friday morning at 8:20 on Northland Morning.

Backyard Almanac: Extremes and Constants

A Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly on a ground of mud and dead grass
Greg Shchepanek [Via Flickr]

It’s been a week of whacky temperatures: nearly 80 degrees on Tuesday, snow on Friday.

“It’s really a beautiful blending of seasons,” says Larry Weber of the unpredictable month of October. Even with the snow cover, Weber is optimistic about more days to enjoy the leaf color. The maples are past their prime, but plenty of yellow leaves are still approaching their peak.

Migration continues. Sharp-shinned hawks are still abundant as are turkey vultures and others. “The biggest surprise - birdwise - is that I saw a loon,” notes Weber. “I’ve seen loons on the water in November, but this one I saw this week.”

Compton Tortoiseshell butterflies are also a sight this time of year. Unlike the Monarch, the Compton Tortoiseshell will hibernate rather than migrate.

Meteorological extremes are not uncommon for October, but through it all the signs of the season consistently press on.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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