By the end of April, the season of middle spring starts to give way to late spring all along the 40th Parallel. Early spring’s crocus and henbit leaves yellow in the grass as the growing canopy turns the hillsides of emerald green. Now the woods are full of garlic mustard, golden seal, columbine, golden Alexander, sweet Cicely, Solomon’s seal, Jack in the pulpit, wood betony, wood hyacinth, spring cress, nodding trillium, larkspur and bellwort. Along the freeways daisies, yellow sweet clover, meadow goat’s beard and parsnips flower. Red and white clover blossom in the pasture. Blackberry and elderberry bushes bloom in the hedgerows.
On the farm, some orchard grass and rye are ready to harvest, and bluegrass can be budding.
Mock Orange Season, Korean Lilac Season and Honeysuckle Budding Seasons announce the most fragrant time of year. Iris, poppies and peonies complement the fragrance. Clematis season graces garden trellises. Lily-of-the-Valley and Star of Bethlehem open beneath them.
It is Leafing Season for ginkgo, tree-of-heaven, ash, locust, black walnut, and mulberry. Wild Cherry, Red Horse Chestnut and Buckeye Blossom Seasons spread throughout the woodlots. Last year’s catalpa seedpods fall in late April thunderstorms.
Cobwebs appear overnight, glisten with morning dew. Most dandelions have gone to seed, and ruby-throated hummingbirds arrive at local feeders. Nettles are waist high along the fencerows.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of late spring. In the meantime, watch the changes; no matter the weather, they all say middle spring has turned to late spring.