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Poor Will's Almanack: March 7 - 13, 2023

Sunrise in Columbus, Ohio
Meisam Fathi Salmi (Always Shooting)

Poor Will’s Almanack for fourth week of  Early Spring, the fourth week of the Snowdrop and Aconite Moon, the third week of the Sun in Pisces, the week of the start of Daylight Saving Time.

Throughout the Lower Midwest and the East, Early Spring fills the six weeks between the middle of February and the end March. This month and a half links the deep cold of winter with the lushness of April, and it is made up of constellations of color, motion and sound, and musterings of new sprouts and leaves, birds, insects, mammals and fishes.

Now in the Early Spring just before equinox, islands of new life emerge from the waves of warmth that move across the landscape. Early Spring is a dappled piedmont of forms rising out of February’s great gray sea, and like ephemeral hills, the events of this temporal continent multiply, swell, and recede to alter the face of our habitat with an inexorable beauty.

This week’s geography is often marked by blossoms of grape hyacinths and the earliest tulips, as well as by luxurious growth on rhubarb and skunk cabbage leaves.

The tips of resurrection lilies have risen five inches above the ground, pacing the daffodils. Maples blossom, their flowers drifting to the streets and sidewalks, and star magnolias bloom.

In warmer springs, snowdrops, aconites and snow crocus decline as blood-red peony stalks unravel above the mulch. The first soft touch-me-not sprouts emerge near streams and shorelines. Golden pollen grows on prophetic pussy willows.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fifth week of Early Spring. In the meantime, walk the landscape of Early Spring, looking for its new geography

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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.