Poor Will’s Almanack for the First Week of Middle Spring
The blooming of bright yellow forsythia bushes always announces the arrival of Middle Spring. This is the time that the remaining daffodils and grape hyacinths flower and that wildflower season unfolds in the woods with the blossoming of early violet cress, twinleaf, periwinkle, spring beauty, hepatica and small-flowered bittercress. Early meadow rue and May apples are pushing up out of the ground. Cowslip is budding in the swamp, and leaves grow long on the skunk cabbage. Japanese knotweed, columbine, phlox and lupine emerge in the garden.
Drillers hoping to retrieve gas through Utica shale wells in eastern Ohio are drawing water for their operations from ponds and streams or purchasing it from public reservoirs, raising concerns about water availability.
The drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, injects millions of gallons of chemical-laced water into the earth at high pressure to free gas.
The Columbus Dispatch reports one energy company has an agreement with the city of Steubenville to take up to 700,000 gallons of water a day from a city reservoir. The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is considering requests from a dozen companies seeking to draw water from eastern Ohio reservoirs it controls.
Poor Will’s Almanack for the Final Week of Early Spring
White cabbage butterflies are the surest sign of the end of Early Spring. And once you notice the familiar white cabbage butterfly, then you know the more elusive mourning cloak butterflies and the question mark butterflies and the tortoise shell butterflies and the tiny blues are flying too.
When you see cabbage butterflies, then you know that gold finches are turning gold, and you may soon see ants working on the sidewalk.
If you see a cabbage butterfly, then you know that catfish have begun spring feeding and breeding. If you see a cabbage butterfly, then green bottle flies have hatched and termites are swarming, looking for new sweet wood to eat.
Poor Will’s Almanack for the fifth week of Early Spring.
When one thing happens, then else is happening too. That is the most simple rule of phenology. And in the fifth week of Early Spring, the most dramatic event is the start of the robin mating chorus in the early morning dark.