It's almost Early Spring. Time to be getting ready.
When you hear mourning doves singing before dawn, then organize all your buckets for tapping maple sap.
When you hear red-winged blackbirds whistling in the wetlands, then the maple sap should already be running.
When titmice and cardinals sing throughout the morning, then check your chicken flock for mites.
When bright yellow aconites bloom, then spread fertilizer in the field and garden so that it can work its way into the ground before spring planting.
When the first daffodil foliage is two inches tall, then go to the swamps to find skunk cabbage in bloom.
When you see sparrows courting, then cut branches of pussy willow shrubs, as well as from forsythia and silver maples for forcing indoors.
When, then it is time to spray fruit trees with dormant oil, foiling the insects that could spoil summer fruit.
When the first knuckles of rhubarb emerge from the ground, then it’s time to plant your onion sets directly in the ground and seed your cold frames with spinach, radishes and lettuce.
When strawberry plants have new foliage, then wildflower season has begun in the Southwest and bald eagles lay their eggs in Yellowstone.
When you see tulip foliage emerging from the ground, then horned owlets hatch in the woods.
When you see ducks looking for nesting sites, then you know that ambystoma salamanders will be mating at night in the slime.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the First Week of Early Spring. In the meantime, start getting ready. Remember that if one thing is happening, something else is happening too.