Spring Fades to Summer

By late May, spring is fading to summer. The trees are now in full leaf and our multi-colored spring landscape has given way to various shades of green. Hot, humid weather is settling into the Midwest and, in concert, wild creatures adopt their summer behaviors.

Birdsong will become more subdued as most species, now limited to summer and permanent residents, retreat from the mid-day heat. Snakes, lizards and turtles are now more active (and easier to find) while their mammalian neighbors have become increasingly nocturnal. Even humans, equipped with air-conditioned homes and offices, avoid the hot, afternoon sun. Only the insects, energized by summer weather, are oblivious to the heat and humidity.

This summer pattern will build through July and last into September. Throughout the period, early morning and evening hikes will be far more productive for wildlife viewing (for reasons mentioned above) and we will long to be rescued by those Canadian fronts that usher cool, dry air into our Midwestern steam bath.