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Poor Will's Almanack: April 30 - May 6, 2024

via Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will's Almanack for the time of late spring when the sun is in Taurus and the moon is the tadpole moon.

By this point in the year, late spring is already starting to take over the land, and events in nature occur like endless litanies.

Sycamore, osage orange, cottonwoods and oaks are filling out. Maple and box elder leaves are at least half size, and mulberries and buckeyes are in bloom. Along the sidewalks, the fluorescence of bridal wreath, spirea and snowball viburnum has appeared. Daisies and iris and poppies and the sweet Williams and chives and horseradish and thyme - they're all blossoming.

Wood hyacinths, allium and the star of Bethlehem replace the tulips and the daffodils. The delicate Korean lilacs join the fading standard lilac varieties. Strawberries have set their fruit now, and while black raspberries are flowering, in the alleys, scarlet pimpernel comes in beside a timely speedwell, fleabane, Solomon's seal and bell ward. Wild phlox and trillium, wild geraniums, Jacob's ladder and watercress, May apples and yellow star grass - they're all in bloom now.

Throughout the fields of violet and pink, sweet rockets increase in number and orchard green grass and delicate brome grass reveal the sweetest flavors of the year.

The first ducklings and the first goslings explore the ponds and rivers. Tadpoles search for algae and the first yellow swallowtail butterfly, if you're lucky, comes to town.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will's Almanack. I'll be back again next week with with more notes on the seasons. In the meantime, just just watch the world grow greener and greener.

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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.