Jeffers Foundation


Data from Freshwater Society Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac (Jim Gilbert for Phenology and Rod Nerdahl for Astronomy)


Phenology: Third Week of June

Warbling vireos, song sparrows, and yellow warblers enchant us with their vocalizations. A trained listener can pick out two dozen or more different bird species in a morning chorus of singers. Serviceberry and red mulberry trees have ripe fruit, relished by American robins, cedar waxwings, and us humans. Tree and barn swallow parents are busy feeding young nestlings. Look for young gophers (also called 13-lined ground squirrels) out of their burrows engrossed in playing, sunning, and exploring. Gardeners are picking peas, kohlrabi, romaine, leaf lettuce, kale, radishes, green onions, and strawberries. Expect the best bloom of the growing season from shrub roses and garden roses.

View the June Phenology Information from the Freshwater Society Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac >>

Species of the Month

Tiger beetle (Cicindela sp.)

Tiger beetle (<em>Cicindela sp.</em>)
Allen Blake Sheldon

Tiger beetles live by catching other insects sometimes much larger than themselves. These one-inch long insects are known for their aggressive predatory habits and quick speed. They can top five miles per hour, covering 120 times their body length in a single second. At this speed, their visual system cannot accurately process images, which causes them to hunt in an unusual staccato style: they sprint quickly toward their prey, using their antennae to detect and avoid obstacles, then stop and visually reorient before capturing them with long sickle-like mandibles.

There are approximately 2,600 species of tiger beetles, and they can be found in sunny locations like trails in the woods and on sandy beaches.

Astronomy: June

Next month Mars reaches opposition, when it rises opposite the Sun in the sky. At this point, it will be at its closest approach to Earth this year (35.8 million miles). As Mars and Earth both have elliptical orbits, the proximity changes. If opposition happens when the Earth is far from the Sun (called aphelion, which happens in July) and Mars is close to the Sun (called perihelion), the size of the planet's disk is noticeably larger. For this opposition, Mars will be 11 million miles closer than during the last one, in 2016. Make sure to get a peek at the Red Planet.

Morning Stars

Mars rises near midnight at the beginning of the month, with a visit by the Moon on June 3 and again on June 30. By that time, Mars is rising at 11 pm. Saturn will spend almost all month as a morning star, until its opposition on June 27. This will be the best time of year to view Saturn.

Evening Stars

Throughout the month, Venus is climbing higher in the west at sunset. Jupiter starts its evening in the southeast at the beginning of the month, and in the south by month's end. The Moon will join Venus on June 15, and again on June 16, then pass Jupiter on June 23. Mercury continues its climb out of the Sun's glare and almost makes it, by month's end. On June 27 Saturn joins the evening sky and is also joined by the Moon, passing within one degree.

Sun Declination

View the June Astronomy Information from the Freshwater Society Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac >>


Garden roses at June peak of bloom (U of Minn. Landscape Arboretum):
2016 June 20
2015 June 24
2014 June 25
2013 June 27
2012 June 15




2nd, Moon apogee (251,852 miles) - 11:34 am

6th, Last Quarter Moon - 1:32 pm

13th, New Moon Strawberry (Ojibwe) - 2:43 pm

14th, Moon perigee (223,385 miles) - 6:52 pm

20th, First Quarter Moon - 5:51 am

21st, June solstice; summer begins N Hemisphere - 5:07 am

27th, Full Moon - 11:53 pm

29th, Moon apogee (252,315 miles) - 9:43 pm

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