WYSO

Poor Will's Almanack: April 10 - 16, 2018

Apr 10, 2018

The Golding Goldfinch Moon wanes throughout the week, becoming the new Swarming Termite Moon on April 15. And as daffodils and tulips come to bloom and the pale winter feathers of goldfinches turn gold, it is not uncommon to see swarms of ant-like creatures (termites) flying in search of new breeding and feeding grounds. When termites swarm, carpenter bees emerge to invade home siding and eaves, usually returning to the same places they were the year before, drilling and making nests, often leaving telltale piles of sawdust as signs of their activity.

And all those movements mean that hobblebush is leafing in the woods. The Great Dandelion and Violet Bloom has reached the nation’s midsections. Nettles are about half a foot tall in the pastures. Velvety wild ginger leaves unfold on the hillsides. Daffodils, pushkinia, anemone, and hyacinths are at their brightest in the lawns and gardens of the central states.   

Privets are filling out.  Branches of the multiflora roses are almost completely covered with foliage. Dogwoods start to open. Early tulips are at their peak.

Leaves appear on elm trees. The seasons of snow trillium, bloodroot and twinleaf, Dutchman’s britches, violet cress, scilla, star of Holland, and pushkinia come to an end.  Bleeding hearts have hearts.

American toads are chanting, their tadpoles already swimming in the pools and ponds.   Hummingbird moths and bumblebees come out to sip the annual mass flowering of dandelions. Gnats become bothersome.   Bullheads begin their spawning run. Deer give birth. The rare grouse is drumming, and the wood thrush is back. Downy woodpeckers are mating.  Baby groundhogs have come out of their dens. Throughout the country’s midsection, black and gray morel mushrooms come up at this time of the month, the same time that orchard grass is ready to harvest and May apples are fully emerged.

Mounds begin to show on your lawn as moles wake up and hunt grubs and worms. When the moles start working, flea season begins for pets and livestock. And infest the barn. Asparagus is up in the garden; toad trillium blooms in the woods. The first strawberries are in flower.

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, pick one sign of Middle Spring. How about dandelions. When you see a yard full of yellow dandelions, then you know all these other things are happening around you.