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Poor Will's Almanack: April 6 – 12, 2021

House wren
Becky Matsubara
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Second Week of Middle Spring, the first week of the Cows Switching their Tails Moon, (so named because flies often grow pesky in the barnyard), and it’s the third week of the sun in Aries

Rain or shine, heat or cold, April keeps on coming.

House wrens migrate to town as velvety wild ginger leaves unfold on the hillsides. The wood grouse drums for his mate on the ground, and wood thrushes sing in the trees.

Hobblebush is leafing in the woods. Nettles are about half a foot tall in the pastures. Tadpoles swim in the pools and ponds.

Columbines and bleeding hearts are bushy and nearly a foot tall. Rhubarb leaves are bigger than a big man’s hand. Redbud branches turn violet as their buds stretch and crack, just as crab apples reach full flower.

Privet bushes are filling out. Branches of the multiflora roses are almost completely covered with foliage. Early tulips are at their peak. Virginia bluebells are in full bloom. Wild turkeys are gobbling. Deer are born and bullheads begin their spawning run.

Bleeding hearts have hearts. American toads are chanting, and hummingbird moths and bumblebees come out to sip the flowering of dandelions. Pheasants nest along the fencerows. Asparagus is up in the garden when toad trillium blooms in the woods and the first strawberries are in flower. Locusts, mulberries, ash, tree of heaven, and ginkgoes get their foliage.

Grasshoppers start jumping, and Japanese beetle grubs move to the surface of the ground to feed as the weather warms. Mounds begin to rise in the lawn as moles wake up and hunt those grubs and worms. The first daddy longlegs spiders are hunting in the undergrowth.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Middle Spring. In the meantime, well, yes, too much is happening to see it all. Just relax and enjoy. It’s 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.