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Poor Will's Almanack: May 21 - 27, 2019

John Brandauer
Flickr Creative Commons

The Golden Buttercup Moon wanes throughout the remainder of May, reaching apogee (its benign position farthest from Earth) on May 26 and entering its final quarter that same day.

Rising in the middle of the day and setting in the middle of the night, this Moon passes overhead in the early morning, encouraging creatures to feed and mate. This week, lunar conditions are ideal for planting all garden flowers and vegetables, telling the seeds to swell and sporut.

The Gemini sun and the Golden Buttercup Moon  bring out the first shiny blue damselflies near waterways. Bass spawn in farm ponds, rivers and lakes.White spotted skippers and red admiral butterflies visit the garden. Gold-collared black flies swarm in the pastures. Leafhoppers look for corn. Scorpion flies hunt in the barnyard.

Daddy longlegs roam the undergrowth, lurking in clustered snakeroot. Bright green six-spotted tiger beetles race along the maze of deer paths in parks and woodlots.

Grasshoppers come to the fields. Northern Spring Field Crickets, the first crickets of the year to sing, are singing. Fledgling robins and grackles are out of the nest. Reckless adolescent groundhogs wander the roadsides.

Along the coast of the eastern Atlantic, sea turtles begin to come ashore to lay their eggs. In the Georgia and Florida swamps,  male alligators bellow out their courtship calls beneath the full, high trees.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the transition week to Early Summer. In the meantime, watch for the orange day lilies to bloom by the side of the road, a sure sign of Early Summer.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.