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Poor Will's Almanack: June 11 - 17, 2019

soybean flower
Aerna's Mom
/
Flickr Creative Commons

So much is going on outside that it’s hard to know what else is going on. And to make matters worse, when one thing happens, something else is happening, too.

When great mullein blooms in the fields, then mock orange petals have all fallen and water willows are blossoming beside the streams.

When elderberry bushes come into full flower and cottonwood cotton floats in the wind, then the first chiggers bite in the woods and garden.

When the tall spikes of the yucca are in bloom, then Japanese beetles invade the soybeans.

When damselflies out along the waterways, pie cherries will be ripe for pie.

When milkweed and pokeweed flower, then the first winter wheat is ripe.

When lizard’s tail is in flower along the rivers and lakes, and when black raspberry season ends along the roadsides, then corn borers haunt the corn.

When enchanter’s nightshade blooms in the woods, then the first soybeans are blossoming, too.

When black-eyed Susans bloom along the freeways, then turtles hatch near the rivers and lakes.

When green berries form on the poison ivy, then the days will soon be shortening.

When the first katydid appears at porch lights, then the first cut of alfalfa is complete and the wheat is ready to cut.

When the first apple and cherry tree leaves become yellow and drift to the ground, alewives head back to sea from their estuaries along the Atlantic. 

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of Early Summer. In the meantime, of course, no matter what you see happening, you know something else is happening, too.

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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.