Poor Will's Almanack: March 20 - 26, 2012

Mar 20, 2012

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Final Week of Early Spring

White cabbage butterflies are the surest sign of the end of Early Spring. And once you notice the familiar white cabbage butterfly, then you know the more elusive mourning cloak butterflies and the question mark butterflies and the tortoise shell butterflies and the tiny blues are flying too.

 When you see cabbage butterflies, then you know that gold finches are turning gold, and you may soon see ants working on the sidewalk.

If you see a cabbage butterfly, then you know that catfish have begun spring feeding and breeding. If you see a cabbage butterfly, then green bottle flies have hatched and termites are swarming, looking for new sweet wood to eat.

When cabbage moths are out, then soft sprouts of touch-me-nots have emerged in the wetlands and the branches of weeping willow trees are turning pale yellow-green as their buds expand. In the city, cornus mas shrubs produce golden blossoms, promising forsythia in the first week of middle spring.

If you see a white cabbage butterly on your way to work, you can know that Middle Spring's hepatica and twinleaf are pushing out in the sanctuary of the woodlands. Toad trillium and Dutchman's britches are ready to open there, the entire spectrum of wildflowers surging to encounter April.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of middle spring. In the meantime, watch golden forsythia flowers to open, the passageway to Middle Spring.