Nature
11:35 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Poor Will's Almanack: February 22-28, 2011

Poor Will’s Miami Valley Almanack for the second week of Early Spring.

In spite of Snowdrop Winter, a cold spell that usually marks the end of February, the signs of spring continue to accumulate all across the nation.

Along the 40th Parallel, the days now lengthen at the rate of 60 seconds every 160 minutes. Crows and doves and cardinals are up by 6:45 in the morning. At 7:30, there is really a chorus of cardinals and crows and titmice filling the landscape with sound. Along the backroads, flocks of red-winged blackbirds and robins are out in the fields.

On the warmest days, mourning cloak butterflies appear, and chipmunks come out to play and mate in the dwindling woodpiles. More yellow aconites are blooming, more snow crocus, more snowdrops.

Rabbits are breeding. Horned owlets hatch in the high in the trees. Killdeer, rusty blackbirds, and canvasback ducks are arriving here as farmers plant their sweet corn along the Gulf coast.

Throughout Georgia, bee season has started. Honeybees and carpenter bees collect pollen from dandelions, yellow-flowered wild radishes, red maples, blue toadflax, white clover and mouse-eared chickweed. Azaleas are blooming in Alabama. In the lowlands of Mississippi, swamp buttercups, violets and black medic are open. All across the deserts of the Southwest, wildflower season has begun.

Next week on Poor Will's Miami Valley Almanack: notes for the third week of early spring. In the meantime, watch for pussy willows to be pushing out all the way.

Related program: