Inside the four common seasonal categories – winter, spring, summer, fall - lie clusters of small parallel seasons that measure time inside of time, creating by their colors and shapes and sounds and tastes and smells the broader temporal divisions.
As June comes to a close, taking with it the longest days of Early Summer, the subseasons that follow solstice create a patchwork of interlocking phases of the landscape’s transformation.
What might seem at first to just be “summer’ or the “Dog Days” becomes a spacial-temporal window of milkweed blossoms with its paradise of aroma and flavor for the sluggish mating milkweed beetles.
For the elderberry watcher dreaming of wine and jam, the pale elderberry flower umbels darken into berries and promises of sweet harvests.
Gigantic cecropia moths emerge for love in the dark, their alotted time only a week or two to mate.
The small Canadian thistles that blossomed pink under the Early Summer sign of Gemini, suddenly become thistledown in the wind when the Sun comes into Cancer.
The winter wheat, planted nine months ago, becomes golden and then deep chocolate brown, its optimum harvest time at hand.
And more and more capsul-seasons, as many as a person might imagine: Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar Season, Enchanter’s Nightshade Season, Butterfly Weed Season, Cattail Blooming Season and more, one for every species in its chosen habitat, offering distinct pockets of passage and change for every facet of the world.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second Week of Deep Summer. In the meantime, choose a season to follow. There is one wherever you stand.