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Poor Will's Almanack: June 1 - 7, 2021

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Poor Will’s Almanack for the Second Week of Early Summer, the final week of the Cottonwood Cotton Moon, the second full week of the sun in Gemini.

I went fishing this week in 1993.

Along the way to lake, the catalpas were in full bloom, their elaborate white flowers, exotic and tropical, replacing the fragrant locust blossoms.

The weather was ambivalent. The sky was divided, clear to the north, mostly cloudy to the south. And I fished exactly between a cool front and a warm front for most of the day.

The lake was sweet with the smell of multiflora roses and boxwood, loud with the sucking and splashing of carp, with boisterous flicker calls, with the brow, brow, brow of bullfrogs, the steady jumping of small and large fish across the water, the whine of catbirds.

A curious red admiral butterfly, black with a great red-orange stripe across his wings, came and rested on my cooler, unafraid as I moved about the boat.

He flew away after a while, came back in about half and hour, then he was replaced by a persistent tiny blue or azure butterfly that landed on my shirt, and tasted the sweat.

Then later, a brown hackberry butterfly visited, like the one that had landed on me here me two years previously.

So I settled into a cove where water bugs we spinning, and I watched swallows hunting back and forth. Eventually I drifted deep into a narrow channel and a pair of flickers, large woodpecker type birds, came to the dead Osage tree above me. They courted, kissed for a minute, then the male mounted, they mated a few seconds, and they were gone.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of early summer. In the meantime, go fishing. Find some butterflies and birds.

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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.