Retired teacher Larry Weber is the author of several books, including “Butterflies of the North Woods,” “Spiders of the North Woods,” “Webwood” and “In a Patch of Goldenrods.” Contact him c/o email@example.com.
- Member for
- 3 years 9 months
For the first time since April, we have sunrise after 6 a.m. With sunset now at 8:20 p.m., we see the daylight getting shorter each day.
During the first week of August, we reach the time halfway between the summer solstice of June and the autumnal equinox in September. Daylight that was well over 15 hours for the last two months now goes below that number and as we go through this month, we have less each day. By the time we exit August, daylight will be only about 13 1/2 hours.
As we exit this summer month of July, we can look back at these 31 days and yes, we've seen what this month is famous for. The Northland experienced several very hot days where we heard heat index warnings instead of wind-chill warnings. We also hosted a couple of impressive storms, some giving plenty of rain and others with hurricane-force winds. The storms also gave quite a display of lightning. We will remember this turbulent month.
The morning is calm and cool as I walk to the lake for an early paddle. I quickly note that the lake level is up, thanks to recent July rainstorms. The floating circular leaves of white water lilies and the elliptical ones of yellow pond lilies remain on the surface. At this morning hour, the large white flowers of the former are not yet open, but those of the latter are.
The middle of July is probably best known for its heat. It seems as though the hottest days of the whole summer in the Northland frequently occur during the middle to the end of this month. And our talk of weather during this time is one of heat and not cold; that we are best known for. I find the mercury climbs to its peak in the afternoon following the pleasant readings in the early mornings. Walks in the morning in mid-July are usually quite mild.
As we step into this new month of July, we look around to see plenty going on in the world of nature. July is often our hottest month; we can get to 90 degrees and beyond. And these days can also give us thunderstorms. With many songbirds, July is when the young have grown too big for the nest and move on to their next phase of life as fledglings. It is not uncommon to see spotted young robins now. We are less likely to hear songs of birds defending home territories and feeding their young. Half-grown skunks, raccoons, foxes and rabbits wander through the scene as well.