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Poor Will's Almanack: May 14 - 20, 2024

via Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will's Almanack for the time of late spring with the sun in Taurus and the honeybee swarming moon.

After apple petals all have fallen, late spring enters its glory, keeping the promises of March and April. Now honeybees swarm in search of new habitats.

Iris bloom quickly spreads across the country, and mock orange flowers squeeze out into the warmest afternoons, four or five days after the iris, about a week in advance of the peonies.

Then when azaleas lose their petals, daisies and the first clematis and the first cinquefoil open all the way, the first strawberry ripens, and the first swallowtail butterflies visit the star of Bethlehem and bleeding hearts.

The yellow heads of meadow goatsbeard appear along the roadsides next to the sweet clover foliage spreading out for June. The pink and violet of sweet rockets replace the purple wild phlox in the woods and pastures. All of the buttercups blossom, and by the end of the week, the first poppies blossom.

Rich-scented four-petaled flowers of the silver olive are open. Locust leaves emerged last week; their first flowers now open as the high canopy slowly closes in.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with more notes on the seasons. In the meantime, think about strawberry shortcake and rhubarb pie.

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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.