John Latimer

Staff Phenologist

As a mail carrier in rural Grand Rapids, Minn., for 35 years, John Latimer put his own stamp on a career that delivered more than letters. Indeed, while driving the hundred-mile round-trip daily route, he passed the time by observing and recording seasonal changes in nature, learning everything he could about the area’s weather, plants and animals, and becoming the go-to guy who could answer customers’ questions about what they were seeing in the environment.

The expertise he developed along the way turned him into one of Minnesota’s leading phenologists and host of a popular weekly radio show Phenology that attracts nature lovers and regular phenology contributors from around the state.

Ways to Connect

Marilyn Lee via KAXE-KBXE Season Watch FB Page

Every Tuesday during the morning show, our resident phenologist John Latimer takes a deep dive into nature...just before 7am, he shares notes and phone messages from listeners during what we call the "Talkback" segment of the Phenology show.  Then, later in the morning, around 7:20am, he shares his personal, complete phenological assessment of what's blooming, buzzing, growing, and changing here in the northwoods of Minnesota in his official, weekly Phenology Report. 

Cis Picarich Ramsdell via KAXE-KBXE Season Watch Facebook page

Tuesdays are special around here!  Every Tuesday during the morning show, we bring listeners The Phenology Show.  It's a special time when we focus on and celebrate the amazing natural world around us!  Listeners send in phone messages and emails with observations and questions while our resident phenologist does a deep dive comparing what he's noticed in the week to the same dates in his journals from years gone by. 

Dallas Clell Hudson via KAXE-KBXE Season Watch FB Page

Tuesdays are special around here!  Every Tuesdya during the morning show, we bring listeners The Phenology Show, it's a special time when we focus on and celebrate the amazing natural world around us!  Listeners send in phone messages and emails with observations and questions while our resident phenologist does a deep dive comparing what he's noticed in the week to the same dates in his journals from years gone by.  This week we heard from the adorable Ruth, Axel and Pearl Newstock as they called in a report of a family hike. We also heard from Chris on Hill Lake and Harvey Tjader in the Bemidji area.  In John's official Phenology Report, he discusses butterflies and blooms and more!

Caterpillars Count!

Jun 30, 2020
Caterillars Cou
https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/75733499

Caterpillars Count! is a citizen science project for measuring the seasonal variation, also known as phenology, and abundance of arthropods like caterpillars, beetles, and spiders found on the foliage of trees and shrubs.

We spoke with Dr. Allen Hurlbert about this project.

You can find out more here.

Dale Irish, taken from his trail cam near Cook, MN

Every Tuesday we focus on the natural world around us during the Phenology Show.  Listeners send in comments and observations from their daily lives and adventures while our resident phenologist John Latimer provides a full report of animal activity, growth and blooms, comparing aspects of current happenings to events in past years.  Take a listen to this week's listener comments and John's full report  below.  In addition to learning about a wide variety of forest blooms, you'll hear about a heron killing a pesky squirrel and another heron killing 12 chipmunks! 

Gary Payne, KAXE-KBXE Season Watch Facebook Page

We missed our weekly reports from students this week, but thankfully we received  several reports from other folks in addition to our one student report from Auggie on Northern Sun Farms in Shevlin!  So much in bloom, so much activity, so many reasons to get outside and take note of the beauty all around us here in northern Minnesota!  

Learn how to help a turtle across the road, find out what a snake puked up while Auggie was holding it and discover many, many more observations from him and several other area phenologists in this talkback segment! 

Tammy Bobrowsky KAXE-KBXE Season Watch FB Page

Talkback is one way we engage with listeners.  Phenology talkbacks become a conversation that paints a picture of what's happening out in nature at a given moment in the phenological cycle.   Each week, we receive reports, comments, and questions from listeners and classrooms across Minnesota.   Since school went online in March, we noticed the kids and classrooms engaging in phenology even more than before. We are so happy to provide an avenue for kids to get jazzed about nature!  We're going to miss their classroom reports this summer.  

Angela Nistler via KAXE-KBXE Season Watch FB Page

Covid times have been a little crazy in many ways… Enjoy two weeks of back to back phenology reports below.  Relive the dawn of summer thru the eyes of our student phenologists and our keen listeners who make it a point to document what they are noticing outside!  What are you noticing?  Send us an email that includes either a voice recorded memo from your phone or a written note.  You can always call 218-999-9876 and leave a voicemail on our talkback line as well…as the kids say, “Be Observant!

Dave Harrington via KAXE-KBXE Season Watch Facebook Page

Each week John looks at what's happening outside and compares it to what he's documented in his decades of recording phenology notes.  This week he compares aspen leafout times to years gone by among other interesting and inspiring facts.  Take a listen to learn all about it!  

Corey Campbell via KAXE-KBXE Season Watch FB Page

Wow... It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Click on the links below to hear all about the wild wonder our student phenologists and listeners are taking note of!  We'd love to include your observations in our weekly report... don't hesitate to call 218-999-9876 or send an email and tell us what you are noticing!

Among many other things, Auggie reports the frogs going quiet when the air got cold...

Blackberry kids birds and blooms in their neck of the woods...

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