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Poor Will's Almanack: May 31- June 6, 2022

Late Summer in Ohio by Jim Crotty
Jim Crotty
/
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the second week of early summer, the second week of the Hummingbird Moon, the second week of the sun in Gemini.

By the first of June, it may seem that the best of the year is long past. It seems the best might have occurred in earliest spring, just before aconite and snow crocus bloomed, in the days before the cardinals and the doves and the robins sang at first light, the days before skunk cabbage bloomed in the swamp, the days before the trillium, the days before the first butterfly.

Still, throughout a universe in which beginnings and endings so often spiral together, days before are everywhere, even on the first of June:

The days before the fireflies flicker

the days before rhubarb pie

the days before the first strawberry turns red

the days before the first garden peas come in

the days before turtles lay their eggs in the warm river banks

the days before the wheat turns to gold

the days before the longest days of the year

the days before sweet corn and tomatoes ripen

the days before day lilies flower

the days before raspberry jam

the days before blackberries wine

the days before the Monarch butterflies visit the milkweed

Days before are not only outriders of the future but sweeten the events to come. They compound the seasons, prolong them, heighten them, encourage dreaming and fantasy, promise reasons for living, offer consolation, reminding that annual repetition is always news.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of early summer. In the meantime, whatever you see is always a day before something else.

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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.