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Poor Will's Almanack: March 22 - 28, 2016

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In the last days of the Robin Chorus Moon, pollen falls from the on pussy willow catkins, and mosquitos become hungrier. Moths appear at your porch light. The foliage of spiderwort, yarrow, stonecrop, mallow, phlox, columbine, coneflower, waterleaf, snow-on-the-mountain, goldenrod, buttercup, New England aster, Shasta daisy and Queen Anne’s lace has grown up tall enough to promise summer.

Worms rise through the ground to mate as the sun warms the mulch above them and the moon waxes. Willow trees glow yellow green. Mock orange leafs out, pacing the new privet foliage, the lilac, black raspberry, honeysuckle, multiflora rose, clematis and coralberry foliage.

Under the darkening Robin Chorus Moon, bleeding hearts get bushy. The early tulips and daffodils bloom. The tree line is gold and orange from flowering maples. Red-winged blackbirds whistle and warble in the swamps, and paired geese trumpet and converse on ponds and rivers. Turkeys gobble in the woods. And in the last days of the final lunar phase, hepatica, Dutchman’s britches, bloodroot, spring beauty, twinleaf, violet cress, and lesser celandine announce the advent of April.

The Robin Chorus Moon follows all these and so many more events, shadows and foreshadows them, possibly causes some of them, connects them from the sky. It accompanies, enhances or weakens the tidal waves of high and low pressure that cross the country, reflects the equinoctial sun, and finally grows dark as sandhill cranes migrate, stirred by the Sandhill Crane Migration Moon and by the more radical warming and leafing and blossoming forces of middle spring.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of middle spring. In the meantime, this is the week to begin your wildflower walks – and to begin to identify them one at a time.

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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.