The Milkweed Bug Mating Moon was new and dark, just a shadow high in the east before dawn. The the rain had finally ended, and the barometer was rising.
By the time the grackles woke up at 6:00, the chorus of cardinals and doves and sparrows was loud and raucous. Then a breeze passed through the trees, and the grackles became louder, their calls drowning out the other singers as the sun came up.
This eruption of grackle activity takes place in my yard every year at the beginning of June. Almost a decade ago, their excited clucking, cackling and scrawing came on Pentecost Sunday, the ancient Christian commemoration of a mighty wind that accompanied the fabled descent of the Holy Ghost upon the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
It seemed to me at that time, as it seemed to me this year, that all the grackle fledglings had left their nests together, and that the entire community of grackles was energized. The wave of their language grew and grew throughout the day as though every grackle that lived in our woods had been filled with some great message.
Now, in the last days of the Milkweed Bug Mating Moon, the intense flurry of language that marks grackle Pentecost has passed.
Still, there are so many more moveable holy days ahead, like the feast of the ripe pie cherries, mulberries and black raspberries, the feast of the coming of summer cicadas and crickets and katydids. Such sacred time circles with the Earth around the Sun, makes celebrants of each creature.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Deep Summer In the meantime, listen for the next revelation, perhaps the feast of the singing cicadas.