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Poor Will's Almanack: February 20 - 26, 2024

via Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the season of early spring with the sun in gentle sign of Pisces under the power of the fertile opossum mating moon.

In the third week of the year’s second month, the sun reaches a declination of almost 12 degrees, the halfway point to equinox, and equinox brings in the season of early spring, a six-week period of changeable conditions that are infiltrated ever so slowly by milder and milder temperatures that finally bring the first trees and the early bulbs to bloom.

Now maple sap tappers will be collecting maple sap. Moss will be growing a little more on old logs, and daffodil and tulip foliage will have pushed far out above the mulch.

The first blood-red rhubarb leaves will be unfolding. Bees could be finding skunk cabbage in the swamps. The soft days of early spring tell geese and ducks to check out nesting sites. The gentler afternoons call out the small, tan wood moths. Earthworms become active again; you may see them crossing roads and sidewalks in the lukewarm rains.

Ragwort and dock grow back in the wetlands during early spring. And, white snow drops and purple snow crocus bloom. Pussy willows open wide.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with more notes on nature and the seasons. In the meantime, watch for redwing blackbirds to return and warble in the swamps and along fence rows. They know what time it is.

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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.