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Poor Will's Almanack: August 9 - 15, 2022

Spotted Joe-Pye-Weed - Eupatoire maculée
Nicole Thumult

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Late Summer, the third week of the Soaring Swallow Moon, the second-last week of the Sun in Leo.

Everything in nature continues to converge as Late Summer begins, the coincidences becoming almost phenological laws, dictating that when one thing happens, something else is happening, too.

When spiders start to increase their building of web, then yellow jacket season begins in the windfall apples and plums.

When hickory nuts and green acorns and black walnuts drop to the ground, then gardeners dig their potatoes.

When the violet Joe Pye weed flowers become gray like the thistledown, then peaches are almost all picked, and the fruit of the bittersweet ripens orange.

When cardinals stop singing before dawn, the soybean leaves are yellowing in the fields.

When long flocks of blackbirds move across the sky, then it’s time for plums to be the sweetest of the year.

When all the summer apples have been picked, then the first puffball mushroom of the year swells in cool, damp nights, and the wood thrush moves south across the Ohio River.

When ragweed pollen drifts in the wind, farmers start to cut their corn for silage, and the year’s final tier of wildflowers is budding: beggarticks, bur marigolds, asters, zigzag goldenrod.

When dogbane pods turn reddish brown in the fields, then wood nettle has gone to seed under the high canopy.

When arrowhead blooms in the waterways, then pale Asian lady beetles have begun their late-summer migration.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of late summer. In the meantime,  when one thing happens, something else is happening. too. Watch for the parallels, connect the dots.

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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.