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Poor Will's Almanack: June 22 - 28, 2021

Alison Day
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the First Week of Deep Summer, the third week of the Mating Milkweed Bug Moon, the first week of the sun in Cancer.

Deep in Early Summer, the Northern Spring Field Cricket sings in northern pastures.
This cricket is the easiest of all the crickets to identify because it is the first and only species to appear at this time of year.

By the middle of July, however, when the other crickets are just starting their seasons, the Northern Spring Field Cricket has completed its cycle. And as autumn approaches, the number of cricket species multiplies, and the task of identification becomes more challenging.

By then, writes entomologist Vincent Dethier, the shape of a cricket is less helpful in naming its species than the insect’s call. The song must be correct in order to lead the female to the genetically compatible mate,” writes Dethier, “otherwise consummation, even if completed, is fruitless.”

Like Dethier, I find little use for outward appearances as I reflect on the subtle differences in types of men and women. There is, I think, something radical that separates us, either some vastly complex design, or else a primordial mix-up that once set our evolution out of kilter; and in order to find our partners and friends, to break the isolation and loneliness, to be fruitful, we have to sort through a planet of neighborhoods and habitats. We have to study where we might belong if we were really ever to find home, and then we have to listen until we can hear the song meant only for us.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Deep Summer. In the meantime, think about …your song.

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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.