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The Milky Way is above as morning chores get done
Poor Will’s Almanack
By Bill Felker

June 5-11, 2006
There is no such thing as bad weather; the good Lord simply sends us different kinds of good weather.
-John Ruskin
The astronomical calendar for the third week of early summer:
The Rose Moon is full at 3:03 p.m. on June 11. Rising in the evening, setting in the morning, the full moon is always overhead in the middle of the night.

When you do morning chores, you’ll see the Milky Way above you and the Great Square moving in from the East, fertile Pisces right behind it. To the far west, Arcturus is the brightest setting star. At noon, invisible Orion covers the south, promising the Dog Days of middle summer.

Weather patterns
June 10: In all but the northernmost states (and at the highest elevations), lows near freezing and highs only in the 50s now recede from the realm of serious possibility until late August. Although showers can be associated with warm temperatures, many of the days between this front and the next are dry. The sunniest June days usually occur between now and June 26. At least 100 frost-free days now remain on most farms and gardens of the country.

June 15: Unsettled conditions often surround the arrival of this front as late spring and early summer hold their final skirmishes. After summer is victorious, however, precipitation typically stays away for several days. Between June 15 and 19, average temperatures climb their final degrees throughout the nation, reaching their summer peak near solstice. The period between June 13 and 26 is historically one of the best times of the month for fieldwork.

Natural year
When pie cherries ripen, painted turtles and box turtles lay their eggs, and giant (but harmless) stag beetles prowl the grass. When the oakleaf hydrangea produces its first blooms, then fall webworms and mimosa webworm eggs are hatching.

When the first chiggers bite, all the soybeans are in the ground (except in the wettest years).

When day lilies bloom by the roadsides, watch for winter wheat to turn a soft, pale green.

When catalpa trees come into bloom, then expect the first raspberries to redden.

When bud clusters form on the milkweeds and hosta, then oaks, osage orange and black walnut trees have set their fruit, and cherry picking is in full swing across the nation’s heartland.

Mind and body
The S.A.D. Index, which measures the forces that contribute to seasonal affective disorders on a scale of 1 to 100, rises with waxing moon, reaching a moderate 28 on June 11.

After that, it begins a slide that will take it all the way into a three-day period of single digits.

Best fishing
The moon is overhead after dark this week, encouraging fish to bite at that time. Fish should feed more intensely as the cool fronts of June 10 and 15 approach.

A Charming Story
By Alice J. McKinney, Wingate, Ind.
Her name was Charmer. She’d been a bottle baby. She had grown into a fine ewe. It was now December, and her first lamb was due. I went out to the barn for a late night check. Just as I entered one barn door, I heard a noise, and it was Charmer coming in the opposite door.

“Grummphh,” she said. Grumps again and backed out the door. “That’s strange,” I thought. It was almost as if she wanted me to follow her.

So I walked around the snowy barn and there it was in the snow, still steaming, her first lamb. She wanted me to bring it into the lambing stall she had been raised in, in and out of the cold night. That was one smart sheep, Charmer.

Poor Will’s Scrambler
In order to estimate your SCRAMBLER IQ, award yourself 15 points for each word unscrambled, add a 50-point bonus for getting all of them correct.

If you find a typo, add another 15 points to your IQ.

Here is this week’s rhyming Scrambler:

This farm news was published in the May 31, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.