Poor Will's Almanack: April 19-25, 2011

Apr 19, 2011

Poor Will’s Almanack for the transition time between Middle Spring and Late Spring.

Late spring arrives when the antlers of deer begin to grow, when the first parsnips bloom, the first indigo bunting arrives, and bumble bees come out for pollen. The first blue jay is born in the first days of late spring, and all the garden weeds are sprouting. In the woods, wild phlox, wild geranium, wild ginger, celandine, spring cress, sedum, golden Alexander, thyme-leafed speedwell, garlic mustard and common fleabane are budding.

Summer is right behind them. Sweet clover and wild lettuce are already a foot high. Hosta spears and lily-of-the-valley will be six to nine inches tall, poison ivy and Virginia creeper leaves two inches long, mint and dock and great mullein and comfrey eight inches, Dutch iris twelve inches, cattails and pokeweed up to twenty-four.

Black tadpoles swim in the backwaters. Bass move to the shallows. Termites swarm. Cabbage butterflies visit the fresh cabbage sets. Great brown May bugs begin their evening flights.

Allergy season intensifies with late spring, the time when trees are in full flower throughout the Great Plains, the Northeast, the Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. And in the Southeast, all the grasses are coming into bloom.

Next week on Poor Will's Almanack: notes for the first week of late spring. In the meantime, watch for daddy longlegs hunting in the undergrowth.