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Poor Will's Almanack: June 14 - 20, 2016

Having entered its second quarter on June 12, the gibbous Raspberry Moon waxes throughout the week ahead, reaching apogee (its position farthest from Earth) and becoming totally full at 6:02 a.m. on June 20. Summer solstice takes place on the same day, at 6:34 p.m.

Now is high tide in the year, and the berries grow fat and sweet beneath the glowing moon. “Taste the sugar berry sugar purple berry,” I once wrote under the influence of a little mulberry wine, “sugar wild hot sugar sunning sugar berry, sugar in the sun.”

And now is high tide not only for the sugar sweetness of raspberries but for making mulberry wine – and pie , the purple berries practically harvesting themselves, falling to the ground across the South, ceding to berry pickers in the North.

All across the nation’s midsection, high tide is not only sweet but lush with shining yellow sweet clover and parsnips and moth mullein and birdsfoot trefoil and meadow goat’s beard, with violet cow vetch and pink crown vetch.

Cattails and the wild orange lilies and the purple loosestrife blossom in the ditches of the freeways and the backroads. Milkweed opens for lascivious milkweed beetles and wandering monarch butterflies. And as the Raspberry Moon grows the child of its ecliptic, fireflies join its light, revealing all the floral markers of the solstice through the night.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the transition time to middle summer. In the meantime,

Taste the sugar berry sugar purple berry

sugar wild hot sugar sunning sugar berry

sugar in the sun.

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