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Poor Will's Almanack: May 12 - 18, 2015

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When ragweed has grown two feet tall, and cow vetch, yellow sweet cover, wild parsnips, poison hemlock, wild roses, and blackberries are flowering then locust blossoming season and mock orange, iris blossoming season and rhododendron blossoming season and peony blossoming season - all those seasons - sweeten the winds, then the last leaves of the high canopy come out for summer.

Strawberry ripening season complements the rhubarb of middle spring. Along the roadsides, find waving yellow meadow goatsbeard and sweet clovers. Banks of silver olive shrubs spread their pollen. Buttercups overrun the wetlands. Tall meadow rue is knee high now, pacing the fat angelica. For gardeners, it’s iris and rhododendron season..

Cedar waxwings migrate along the rivers. The first fat brown June bug clings to the screen door, and the first firefly glows in the lawn and flea beetles come feeding in the vegetable garden

Pheasant, grouse, and turkey chicks appear along the fence rows. Half of the season's new ducklings and goslings swim the creeks. White spotted skippers and red admiral butterflies visit the garden. Gold-collared black flies swarm in the pastures. Leafhoppers look for corn. Scorpion flies hunt in the barnyard.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Miami Valley Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the final week of late spring. In the meantime, look for baby robins to be out of the nest, a sure sign of early summer to come.

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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.