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Poor Will's Almanack: March 30 – April 5, 2021

daffodils
Tony Alter
/
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the First Week of Middle Spring, the fourth week of the Robin Mating Chorus Moon, the second week of the sun in Aries

Depending on the year, it may seem hard to see the difference between Early Spring and Middle Spring.

Still, the signs are there, if you keep watch. The bright yellow flowers of forsythia bushes always announce the arrival of Middle Spring.

This is the season in which yellow daffodils and purple grape hyacinths are in bloom. It’s the time in which wildflower season unfolds in the woods with the blossoming of early violet cress, twinleaf, periwinkle, Dutchman’s britches, spring beauty, hepatica and small-flowered bittercress.

May apples (prophets of morel mushrooms) push up out of the ground. Cowslip buds in the swamp, and leaves grow long on the skunk cabbage. Foliage of Japanese knotweed, columbine, phlox and lupine emerges in the garden. Ants build mounds between the sidewalk cracks.

The first buckeye, apple and peach trees leaf out in the early days of Middle Spring. At dusk, frogs and toads sing.

Killdeer arrive, and woodcocks call near sunset with a nasal sounding "peent." Barn swallows come to the barns, and the first baby barred owl hatches.

In town, the lawn is almost long enough to cut, and wild onions grow lanky in the alleyways. And in the warmest years of all, you will see great patches of dandelions in fields and along the freeways. When you see all that gold, it’s Middle Spring for sure.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Middle Spring. In the meantime, take a drive or a walk about the park or neighborhood. Look for signs.

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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.