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Poor Will's Almanack: March 17 - 23, 2020

Tejvan Pettinger
Flickr Creative Commons

So much has happened to prepare for equinox.

Red-winged blackbirds have joined the starlings and grackles. Killdeer and mockingbirds are calling, bluebirds singing. Robins begin their predawn chorus just after 7:00 a.m. Cardinals and doves are calling around 7:15. Later in the day, flickers and pileated woodpeckers call.  Honeybees will be flying then, and the first green-bottle flies.  Garter snakes will lie out sunning.

When I took inventory around the yard today, I saw verything had changed since my last accounting at the end of February:

Snow crocus and and aconites and hellebores and snowdrops were in full bloom, two small jonquils open, deadnettle, small flowered cress, and blue eyes all blossoming.

There were first flowers on several forsythia bushes, mid-season crocus budded, daffodils eight to ten inches tall and well budded, day lilies five inches, tulips ten inches, Canadian thistles three inches, peonies three inches and leafing, red quince leafing and buds cracking, rhubarb and hollyhock leaves to two inches, bleeding hearts up two inches, grape hyacinth seven inches, resurrection lilies six inches, buds opening on the serviceberry trees, buds breaking on the lilacs, pussy willows coming out all the way, privet and mock orange bushes leafing, buds reddening on the crab apple, new garlic mustard sprouts coming on.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the sixth week of Early Spring. Just go outside and see all the things that are happening!

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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.