The Perseid meteors bring starfall to the northeastern portion of the sky on the nights of August 12 and 13, and the arrival of those shooting stars marks high tide of the Dog Days. Rising out of winter’s Taurus and Orion, they cut across Perseus and Andromeda, Cassiopeia and Pegasus, piercing the illusion of endless summer.
Throughout the countryside, Queen Anne's lace, chicory, goldenrod, Joe Pye weed, sundrops, bull thistles, mustard, black-eyed Susans, wingstem, mullein and ironweed arein full bloom along the roads. Soybeans are deep green, corn lush.
Now ragweed pollen fills the humid afternoons, wood nettle goes to seed in the bottomlands, wild cherries ripen, and hickory nuts and black walnuts drop into the undergrowth.
Blackberries are ready to eat when the Perseid meteors fall. Golden and purple coneflowers, and red, pink and violet phlox rule the gardens. Orange-and-gold-flowered trumpet vines curl through trellises. Mums and stonecrop color the dooryards.
In the mornings, cardinals and doves still sing briefly half an hour before dawn. Robins sometimes give long singsong performances throughout the day. Blue jays still care for their young, whining and flitting through the bushes. But starlings and warblers become more restless. The number of fireflies dwindles. Hummingbirds, meadow larks, Baltimore orioles and purple martins start to disappear south; their departure marks a quickening in the sun’s descent to equinox.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I'll be back again next week with notes for the second week of late summer. In the meantime watch for the Perseid meteors after midnight on the 12th and 13th in the northeastern sky.