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Poor Will’s Almanack: April 25 - May 1, 2023


This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Late Spring, the second week of the Tulip Moon, the first full week of the Sun in Taurus.

The season of Late Spring begins this week and usually continues until the end of May. Most early woodland flowers complete their bloom during this time, and almost all the trees leaf out. Frost season ends, and gardeners sow tender flowers and vegetables. Farmers put in all the corn and soybeans and prepare for the first cut of hay.

In Late Spring, the time of flowering fruit trees slowly comes to a close. The great dandelion bloom of Middle Spring turns to gray and fragile seeds. All the gold disappears from the forsythia.

On the other hand, daisies bud and ferns unravel. The six-petalled white star of Bethlehem says it’s May in the city, and the four-petaled pink and purple sweet rockets tell the time of year throughout the pastures.

Strawberries flower, as azaleas brighten and as honeysuckle leaves turn the undergrowth deep May green.

Baltimore Orioles begin to appear when Osage trees come into bloom and the lily-of-the-valley flowers. Scarlet tanagers arrive in the woods when buckeyes blossom. Late Spring arrives as admiral butterflies hatch and field grasses are long enough to ripple in the wind. Ducklings and goslings are born, and warblers swarm north.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Late Spring. In the meantime, watch the trees: they're getting all their leaves.

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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.