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Poor Will's Almanack: May 17 - May 23, 2022

River eddy in Wooley Creek, Marble Mountains
Steven Bratman
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Fourth Week of Late Spring, the fourth week of the Warbler Migration Moon, the final week of the sun in Taurus and its transition to Gemini.

On the hinge between late spring and early summer, the balance of time wavers and swings each day, inventories of vegetation on either side holding seasonal tides in opposition, residue in compensation with new sprouts.

This is a pivotal time that appears to be all in the favor of summer, but really is a door that opens back to spring, as well, allowing a kind of simultaneous passage to and from, eddies in the solar tides, receding and proceeding.

On one side, the blossoms of late Spring persist: the pink sweet rockets, the yellow swamp buttercups, the violet wild geraniums, deep purple larkspur and columbine, the iris, the poppies, the peonies, the wisteria, the sweet mock orange.

On the other side, the side of Early Summer: parsnips, orange day lilies, small, golden stella d’oro lilies, daisies, fruit of black raspberries and mulberries and strawberries, the lush catalpas, the blossoming elderberries and panicled dogwoods, yellow and white sweet clover, nodding thistles, chicory and the paling winter wheat.

And whether one observes and names them or not, the particles of the landscape’s transition are also particles of human transition. Physiology follows the lengthening day like the face of a sunflower follows the sun.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of early summer. In the meantime, the body can change with the season...Let it happen.

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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.