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Poor Will's Almanack: July 2 - 8, 2019

Puddin Tain
Flickr Creative Commons

I walk into the woods and pastures to touch Deep Summer, finding August’s white snakeroot with huge buds, stinging wood nettle with its Late Summer petals, wingstem ready to open, parsnips half to seed but still flowering enough to make part of the field yellow, while the other part is white with daisy fleabane. Wild onions are blooming. Virginia roses still bright pink.  Prickly buckeye fruits, an inch in diameter, are hanging from the trees.  Canadian thistles are gray, some thistle down loosed by the finches  and drifting with the afternoon wind.

In the back yard, blue jays are restless, protecting their young and stealing the last of the cherries. There is constant robin peeping throughout the day, the language that guides the fledglings, no longer the raucus mating songs of spring and early summer.  Almost all the lilies are in bloom, the small golden Stella d’oros, the orange and violet and pink and red day lilies, the elegant Asiatic lilies, the exotic turk’s cap lilies.

Now grapes and acorns are half an inch in diameter, the rose of Sharon getting ready to open. Blue darners have been at the pond for the past few days, and now a bright green damselfly hovers near the lizard’s tail that droops into the stream. Every once in a while, our green frog croaks, exults with a complex, descending call. Japanese beetles have arrived in the ferns on schedule.  Driving home from work, I see the fields of grain and hay are brown. It’s really Deep Summer.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the  third week of Deep Summer. In the meantime, be outside touching July.

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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.