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Poor Will's Almanack: September 10 - 16, 2019

monarch butterfly
Renee Grayson
Flickr Creative Commons

My Sunday  morning is quiet and lazy. Clear sky, the air soft and mild. An occasional breeze follows the butterflies: a giant swallowtail, two monarchs, three yellow tiger swallowtails, four cabbage whites.

The butterfly effect seems to move the floppy leaves of the castor beans and push the drifts of zinnias and cannas. The sidle of the flowers and foliage soothes me, and  I allow my ultimate concerns to settle into the deep time of wings and blossoms.

Sparrows gather on the ground around the bird feeders, swoop to the honeysuckles at a noise from the street, then come back one by one until the next fright, their back and forth complementing the lapping of the breeze, the wing-induced breathing of the landscape.

Fledglings feed and escape with the flock. The fledging of has gone on for months, momentum growing with the summer. Throughout the June, July, August and September, the parents taught their young, and the lessons took hold. The fledglings have their place now beside the adults, a new flock fully formed.

The birds and the butterflies grace the gardens together, completing their cycles with autumn, the butterfly effect and the fledgling effect together, making the whole world move.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Early Fall. In the meantime, watch for butterflies and birds moving the planet move with their wings.

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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.