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Poor Will's Almanack: December 4 - 10, 2018

Jessamine flower
Flickr Creative Commons

The Starling Murmuration Moon becomes the new Flowering Jessamine Moon at 2:20 a.m. on December 7.Although Jessamine does not flower in northern states during the winter, its appearance in the South opens the long encroachment of new life against the frozen barrier of winter.

Along the Gulf of Mexico, other signs join the Jessemine to push the spring north. Some clover and chickweed foliage grow stronger with the sun. The roadside grasses are  still tall and green, and many azalea bushes are in full flower; some bird-of-paradise, some bougainvilleas, forget-me-nots; hibiscus, poinsettias, cucumberleaf sunflowers and tickseed coreopsis have blossoms.

When the Sun reawakens the land above the Gulf, the flowering of the new season will move about fifteen miles each day, slowly spread to fill Georgia and the  Carolinas throughout February and early March, reach the Ohio Valley by the first of April, find the Canadian border by the end of May.

Even at the beginning of winter, the end is in sight. Even now, the tilted basket of the Earth allows one to see inside and to read all the promises of what is to come.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Early Winter and the second week of the new Flowering Jessamine Moon. In the meantime, pretend to tilt the basket of time, pretend to see what waits for you in the spring.

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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.