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Poor Will's Almanack: May 24 - 30, 2016

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Jim Mullhaupt
/
Flickr Creative Commons

The Mulberry Moon wanes throughout the week, coming into its final quarter at 10:29 p.m. on May 29. Rising near midnight, setting in the late morning to early afternoon, the moon will be overhead before sunrise.

As the moon comes up, the Milky Way fills the eastern half of the sky, running from the north and “Z” shaped Cassiopeia, through Cygnus the Swan, then through Aquila and finally to Scutum and Sagittarius deep in the southeast.

Although summer solstice occurs in the third week of June, the sun has already completed most of its midyear ascension by the end of May. All across the United States, the night is as short as it will ever be—about eight hours along the Canadian border, about nine hours in the central states, a little more than ten hours along the Gulf of Mexico.

And under the sun or stars or moon, what goes around comes around:

"One has only to sit down in the woods or fields or by the shore of the river or lake," writes naturalist John Burroughs, “and nearly everything of interest will come round…."

"The change of the seasons," he says, "is like the passage of strange and new countries; the zones of the earth, with all their beauties and marvels, pass one’s door…"

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of early summer. In the meantime, sit and wait outside your door: the whole world will come your way.

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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.