Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Middle Summer.
When sycamore trees begin to shed their bark, then bright orange butterfly weed opens, acorns become fully formed, and thistle flowers change to down. Hemlock season is complete along the roadsides, stalks collapsing into the tall grasses. Parsnip heads brown in the sun.
Poor Will’s Almanack for the last week of early summer.
At the end of early summer, the days are the longest of the year, and 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. Giant black cricket hunters hunt crickets in the garden.
Poor Will’s Almanack for the fourth week of early summer.
A few days ago, I received a letter from Jeffery Goss, a correspondent of mine who lives in Missouri.
"This spring has rattled everything I thought I knew about phenological time measurements," wrote Jeffery. "For example, in March, zeitgebers came three to four weeks early and not even in the right order. Maybe it's climate change."