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Poor Will’s Almanack: April  5 - 11, 2022

Morel Mushrooms
Ken Mattison
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Second Week of Middle Spring, the second week of the Gilded Goldfinch Moon, the third week of the sun in Aries.

In his journal of April 12, 1914, the American painter, Charles Burchfield wrote:

All things swell…the earth, trees, plants, wood and even iron. Why should not the same thing be true of our minds? We must expand, like the leaves, if we would receive all the cleansing water in our souls.

Now that the Gilded Goldfinch Moon is waxing, it carries Middle Spring with it, expanding our souls.

Whether you hear it or not, the robin chorus chants in the dark before dawn. If you wake up then, imagine you are looking for wild geranium and columbine leaves growing in the woods. Even if you don't know flowers, just pretend; that's good enough. Then it's easier to discover the first blue periwinkles open among last year's fallen leaves, and summer's lizard's tail sprouting in the river mud.

White cabbage butterflies emerge in your mind's eye, a sign that Middle Spring's pink hepatica and violet cress and white spring beauties are open. Soft twinleaf is pushing out in the sanctuary of the hillsides. Red-flowered toad trillium is ready to open there, the entire spectrum of wildflowers surging to encounter April.

You can imagine Great blue herons hunting the wetlands. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers passing overhead flying north.

Golden forsythia is flowering, matching, the daffodils and the newly golden goldfinches.

Morel mushrooms and the umbrella-like May apples rise in the night That’s when sleek, fat leaves come out on skunk cabbage deep in the swamp and lumbering carp move to spawn in the shallow waters.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of middle spring. In the meantime, All things swell…wrote Charles Birchfield, the earth, trees, plants. Why should not the same thing be true of our minds?

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.