Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Poor Will's Almanack: March 12 - 18, 2019

Flickr Creative Commons

This week of the year, as Early Spring deepens and the Sun moves from Pisces toward warming Aries,  I keep looking for the colors and sounds that mark the path away from winter.

When I look back at my daybook, I see that tulips form one of the borders of time that appear between yellow daffodils and the gold of forsythia. After all, without such borders and markers there is no time or spring at all. And markers like tulips are like themes in songs that weave great music.

This week in 1983: I found the first tulips. The first bluebells were flowering in the park then. I saw the first green frog of the year.

This week in 1995: When I saw the first tulip, I discovered that termites were migrating, and the first cabbage butterfly was looking for cabbage in my garden. Peony leaves were unraveling from their ten-inch stalks. Crocuses were in full bloom. The first pollen was forming on the pussy willows.

This week in 2007, when the first tulip bloomed, the first leaves came out on the raspberry bushes.

And this week in 2016, when I found new red tulips in my garden,  I saw that golden forsythia buds were starting to come undone, and Mary Sue sent a note saying that she had seen a bright yellow goldfinch.

And so tulips lead me through frogs and bluebells and butterflies and  crocusses and pussy willows and finches. And pretty soon I’ll get to April.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fifth week of Early Spring  and the third week of the Cabbage White Butterfly Moon. In the meantime, why not watch for the first tulips? Who knows where they will take you!

Stay Connected
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.