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Poor Will's Almanack: March 14 - 20, 2023

Glaze ice from freezing rain (29 January 2009) (Newark, Ohio, USA) 40
James St. John

Poor Will’s Almanack for first week of  Early Spring, the first week of the Snowdrop and Aconite Moon, the last week of the Sun in Aquarius and the Transition Time to Pisces.

Starting with the major thaws of Late Winter, the first cluster of spring’s appearance takes the form of white snowdrops and yellow aconites flowering together in the warmest microclimates beside the precocious hellebores of late January.

A parallel cluster rises from wetlands: the skunk cabbage blossoms in icy sloughs. Above those outriders of the season, red-winged blackbirds stake out different limits.

Soon, ducks and geese follow the leadthe blackbirds, marking ownership of the more favorable river sites for nesting.

Past the seasons of the snowdrops and aconites, midseason crocuses initiate more complex configurations that lead to bright blue squills, delicate yellow jonquils, then to the full-size daffodils, then to purple grape hyacinths, then to pale wood hyacinths. Towering on the horizon, silver maples and the red maples and box elders send out their blossoms.

Then to these outcroppings of time come the pollen seekers: the honeybees and carpenter bees.

Then, new configurations take shape, adding multiple pathways to all the recent temporal spaces. And into the world of the pollen seeders come the first butterflies, and then it is finally Middle Spring.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the last week of Early Spring. In the meantime, if you the first white cabbage. butterfly, you know you have opened the door to the last days of early spring.

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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.