Outdoor Almanac

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Every day brings new wonders. What does Mother Nature have in store for us in the coming weeks? Find out everything from the phases of the moon to wildlife happenings in our Outdoor Almanac. 

   July | August | September

July 2016

July 3 

Daylilies are in bloom. Each individual flower opens for a single day.

July 9 

tree frog © Joy Marzolf, Mass Audubon
tree frog © Joy Marzolf, Mass Audubon

Those “chirping birds” we sometimes hear on a sultry afternoon may actually be a chorus of tiny gray tree frogs.

July 19 

Full moon, or the Buck Moon (Native American). The origin of this name refers to the annual shedding and regrowth of a buck’s antlers, which have once again reached their full size by this time of year.

July 20 

Blackberries ripen. Unhindered by the thorny brambles, robins, catbirds, orioles, and mockingbirds forage for the fruit.

July 28  

Look for the muted pink of common milkweed, the brilliant orange of butterfly weed, and the light to darkish purple of swamp milkweed.


August 2016

August 2 

The sweet, strong scent of white-flowered swamp azalea emanates from freshwater wetlands.

August 5 

Luna moth © Jane Morrison
Luna moth © Jane Morrison

After dark, look for luna moths near porch lights and other illuminated locations. Only existing in its adult phase for a week, this species is conspicuous with its four and-a-half-inch wingspan and striking light-green color.

August 13 

Peak of the Perseids meteor shower. After midnight, shooting stars, as many as 60 per hour, flare through the darkened sky.

August 16 

After sundown, watch for Mercury low in the western sky. The best viewing occurs now because the planet is at its highest point on the horizon today.

August 18  

Full moon, or the Dog Days Moon (Colonial American). This refers to the hottest time of year.

August 22  

On rainy days in wooded areas look for red terrestrial juvenile newts, or efts as they’re known, on roots and rocks.

August 27  

When evening falls, watch for the dramatic pairing of Venus and Jupiter in the western sky as it darkens. The planets appear extremely close together.


September 2016

September 4

Common loons arrive for the winter. Watch for them floating on open water.

September 9 

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Red admiral butterflies linger near nectar on autumn wildflowers.

September 16 

Full moon, or the Singing Moon (Celtic).

September 20 

Last of the ruby-throated hummingbirds should be on their way to southern climes.

September 22  

Autumnal equinox. Fall begins. Days and nights are equal length.

September 30  

Some lingering shorebirds can still be sighted on the beach.