|Poor Will’s Almanack
By Bill Felker
June 19-25, 2006
Our true home is in the present moment. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment.
-Thich Nhat Hahn
The astronomical calendar for the fifth week of early summer:
The crescent Rose Moon wanes throughout the week, becoming the new Phlox Moon at 11:05 a.m. on June 25. Summer solstice occurs at 7:26 a.m. on June 21.
Throughout the week, the Corona Bore-alis and red Arc-turus are overhead by 11 p.m. To the west, Cygnus, the Nort-hern Cross, is poised to take their place in late summer. Scorpius moves deep into the southern sky after dark. Its great red star, Antares, is the brightest light close to the horizon.
June 23: This is one of the most benign of summer fronts, almost always followed by clear skies. In most years, the humidity remains low for the next few days, and Dog Day heat stays away.
June 29: If your land has been dry throughout June, the Corn Tassel Rains, which typically follow this front, bring the first real chance of midsummer moisture. In spite of the association of the Corn Tassel Rains with heat, the final two days of June are sometimes the coldest of middle summer, highs below 80 degrees occurring more than half the time north of the Border States.
When black-eyed Susans bloom along the freeways, then turtles will be hatching near the rivers and lakes.
When you see blackberries setting fruit, then the earliest field corn will start to tassel and the canola harvest will be underway.
When you see green berries on the poison ivy, then you know that the days will soon be shortening.
When you hear the first cicadas sing, then May apples will be ready for May-apple jam.
When the first katydid appears at your porch light, then finish your first cut of alfalfa and start bringing in the wheat.
When touch-me-nots bloom in the woods, then the best bullhead and crappie fishing ends for the year.
When potato leafhoppers are getting bad in the alfalfa, look for blight on the tomatoes as you stake your plants.
When blueberries ripen, then cottony maple scale eggs hatch on the silver maples.
When long seedpods have formed on the locust trees, then chinch bugs start leaving brown patches in your lawn. Watering the lawn frequently allows normal growth to keep pace with insect damage.
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, surges throughout the week, but it only reaches a peak of 30 on June 25 and 26.
Even though that reading is low, it does indicate that sensitive people could experience extra irritability near that date.
The dark moon is overhead after sunrise this week, tempting the fish to bite at that time. Even more biting should occur as the barometer falls at the approach of the June 23rd cool front and the June 29th cool front. Less biting typically occurs just after the passage of a front.
A Memory Story by Myrna Glass, St. Marys, Ohio
One day, I had been playing with my brothers. I came into the house weeping loudly (just plain bawling). When Mother said, “What’s wrong?” I answered, sobbing, “Those… those boys have been teasing me!”
“Yes,” said my mom, “and you are doing just what they wanted you to do.” Her advice was, “Go back out there and hand it back to them. Don’t let them get you down.”
So I learned to handle their teasing. It continued with things like their pulling me underwater when we were swimming, and hiding under my bed and grabbing my feet after I turned out the light to crawl into bed. There was never a dull moment at our house.
By the time I became a teen, I felt that I could handle anything they could toss my way. But every once in a while they would get me.
Once when I was 14, I was recovering from a bad case of the flu. In the bedroom across the hall, my 12-year-old brother was also sick. We had talked earlier in the day. After a silence of a half hour, my brother began to say crazy things. Finally, he started to tell me in detail how he had hauled the Grand Canyon to Ohio on a farm wagon.
Mother came upstairs to check on us. I greeted her in alarm. I said, “Oh Mother, Eddie is delirious!” When I began to tell her the story, I was interrupted by gales of laughter from the other room He had put on that act just to scare me!
Poor Will’s Scrambler
In order to estimate your SCRAMBLER IQ, award yourself 15 points for each word unscrambled, adding 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 June 14, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.