Now the the days are the longest of the year and the pieces of summer are fitting together like a puzzle solving itself.
Mulberries and black raspberries are sweetest. Milkweed beetles look for milkweed flowers on the longest days; giant cecropia moths emerge. The first monarch butterfly caterpillars eat the carrot tops.
Damselflies and daddy longlegs are everywhere when black raspberries come in. Mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks have reached their summer strength their presence fitting tightly with that of giant black cricket hunters .
Two out of three parsnips, angelicas, and hemlocks are going to seed. Some multiflora roses and Japanese honeysuckles are dropping petals. But wingstem and tall coneflower stalks are five feet high.
Virginia creeper is flowering. Canadian thistles and nodding thistles are at their best. Blackberries have set fruit. The very first trumpet vines sport bright red-orange trumpets, and the first Deptford pink and first great mullein come into bloom.
Orchard grass is brown and old, English rye grass full bloom, exotic bottle grass late bloom, brome grass very late, some timothy still tender. More Asiatic lilies are coming in now, first the orange, then the pink. Yellow primroses, foxglove, pink and yellow achillea, late daisies, purple spiderwort and speedwell shine in the garden. All across the nation’s midsection, there are hedges of white elderberry flowers, roadsides of violet crown vetch, great fields of gold and green wheat.
No matter how the pieces fall or fit, the puzzle is always right. Each side goes with the other. All the colors match. Nothing is out of place. Nothing fails to fit.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of middle summer. In the meantime, work just a little on the puzzle. It’s all good.