Naturalist News – Summer 2013

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) in my garden.

The summer solstice was hot and humid in Philadelphia. What else is new? It’s all that water. I can’t imagine what it will be like as the climate continues to warm. I like to wake up very early, tend my garden and get back in the shade of the house before the sun is high in the sky and the insects warm up enough to be a bother. I’m just living with the seasons. Happy summer.

Blue Jay planning its next move
Blue Jay planning its next move

The National Wildlife Federation Sponsors a Photo Contest. It ends July 15th

The Amazing World of Hybrid Birds – this explains why we sometimes can’t identify a species

Audubon’s New Online Bird Guide and smartphone app is now available

Male Cowbird
Male Cowbird

On the Climate Change Front…

Puffins in the Gulf of Maine are in trouble. Sign a petition to help protect them.

Watch President Obama’s Weekly Address on Climate Change

Download a pdf of President Obama’s Plan at the bottom of National Wildlife’s page

Climate Change Poses A Grave threat to National Security, Says UK Envoy

Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander US Pacific Forces Says Climate Change is the Biggest Threat


Donna’s take on Climate Change and National Security…

“I think Climate Change is a threat not just from ‘foreign powers’ fighting of over diminishing oil and energy stock, but also from all those angry Americans with guns when they realize how badly and how long they have been lied to and what their future really holds. And we’ll really be in trouble if economic collapse happens at the same time. The environmentalists won’t have to lift a finger.”

great spangled fritillary butterly
Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly sipping nectar from Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) in my garden. Photo by Donna L. Long.

Did You Know?

The Dog Days of Summer (July 3 – August 11) are the forty days that are traditionally the hottest and most unhealthy of the year. The Dog Days once began at the same time as the rising of Sirius the Dog Star, hence the name, Dog Days.

In the Philadelphia area – the nights become cooler after August 15th.

Some Past In Season Blog Posts on Summer Events

When Is Hurricane Season?

Beltane: The beginning of summer

It’s Butterfly Season: Facts ABout Butterflies and Moths

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Seasons and Full Moons

Cross-Quarter Day – May 4th, Summer begins

Summer Solstice – June 20th, Midsummer or Summer begins (depending how you look at it)

Dog Days of Summer – July 3 – August 11

Perseid Meteor Shower – July 17 – August 28

June Full Moon – June 23 – Full Strawberry Moon

July Full Moon – July 22nd – Full Buck Moon and Blueberry Moon

Lammas Day – August 1 – Beginning of the harvest, First fruits, First signs of autumn, Berry festivals (blueberries, blackberries, etc.), First signs of autumn

August Full Moon – August 21st – Full Sturgeon Moon and Green Corn Moon

September Full Moon: September 19th – Full Harvest Moon – harvesting the last of the crops

Autumn Equinox – September 22, The beginning or mid-point of autumn, depending how you look at it.

October 31, November 1st – All Hallow’s Eve, Day of the Dead – the growing season comes to an end

Midnight Sun at the North Pole – the sun never sets from March 20 to September 23

Tip: Full moons always rise near sunset

Seasonal Events – in the MidAtlantic US and around the North American continent

Birds: Nesting season is full swing

Flowers: In bloom – Butterfly Weed, Purple Coneflower, Bee Balm

Food: berries ripen, corn, beans, squash and nuts are growing

Hunting: ducks migrate and are plentiful in September

Fishing: best days for fishing is when the moon is between new and full – June 8 – 23; July 8 – 22; August 6-20; September 5 -19

Northern Blue Flag
Northern Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)

Citizen Science to Participate In:

In the UK: The Butterfly Count – July 20th – August  11th –

In North American the North American Butterfly Association collects data from around the U.S. You can find a count at local environmental centers, parks and reserves. Or start your own count.

Monarch Watch – monitor Monarch butterfly populations

NestWatch – monitor nest to help track the reproductive status of birds

Project BudBurst – keep records on the blooming times of plants

Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology – help with blooming and fruiting times of plants


Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) in my garden. Photo by Donna L. Long.


That’s all for this issue. Look for the next Naturalist News at the beginning of autumn.

What would you like to see in our Seasonal e-newsletter? Please let me know.

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