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Poor Will's Almanack: February 26 – March 4, 2024

via Flick Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the days of of early spring with the sun in warming Pisces under the fertile opossum mating moon.

When pussy willows open all the way, then the snow crocuses and golden aconites come into full bloom, and woolly bear caterpillars come out from winter hibernation.

Pussy willow time is the time when clover and wild violet leaves start to grow. Horseradish stretches out to an inch or two, and red rhubarb unfolds in the sun. Honeysuckle buds are unraveling on the lowest branches at pussy willow time. Bleeding hearts are pushing up from the ground day lily leaves reach to the top of your boots, and rare white snow trillium blossoms appear in the deep woods.

Pussy willows lead to bright blue squills, delicate yellow jonquils, then to the full-size daffodils, then to purple grape hyacinths, then to tulips. Woodchucks are digging up the hillsides, making new dens. Towering on the horizon, silver maples and the red maples and box elders prepare to bloom.

The rivers are high, and carp begin to mate in the shallows. Buds lengthen and brighten on multiflora roses, and lilacs. And at pussy willow time, red-winged blackbirds are back to whistle and sing.

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, check the pussy willows, a sign that robins should be mating before dawn. Listen for their raous chirps and whinnies, telling you that March is here.

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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.