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Poor Will's Almanack: Fish after dark this week, if you can stand the cold
Poor Will’s Almanack
By Bill Felker

March 6-12, 2006

Robins are everywhere this morning. They are running over the wet March ground, in yards, among the open fields, on the swamp edge hillside. They are darting from limb to limb in the old apple orchard. Like scouts or an advance guard, a few redbreasts have come up from the south during recent days. But now the glad robin invasion is in full swing.
-Edwin Way Teale

The astronomical calendar for the fourth week of early spring:
The Pussy Willow Moon waxes throughout the week, becoming completely full at 6:35 p.m. on March 14. Rising in the afternoon and setting after midnight, the third-quarter moon is overhead after sundown.

At 10 o’clock tonight, the fertile planting constellation of Cancer is almost overhead between Pollux and Regulus. Hydra follows at its heels. May’s Virgo approaches along the southeast horizon. The Big Dipper swings deeper into the southern sky.

When you get up before dawn to do your chores or exercises, you will see the sky the way it will be on a late evening in July. There will be no sign of winter’s Orion. In his place, directly overhead, Hercules will be stretching out his arms. Arcturus will lie in the western sky, and Cygnus - the Northern Cross - will dominate the east. On the horizon, autumn’s Great Square will be rising.

Weather patterns
March 9: As this weather ridge moves east, chances for highs above 50 degrees increase dramatically across the central and northern parts of the United States. Even though March 10 and 11 are often quite cold, March 12 and 13 are typically mild.

March 14: The March 14th front is often accompanied by brighter skies for a day or so before it moves toward the Atlantic to make way for the much stronger and more disruptive weather system of March 19.

March 17 can be one of the warmest days so far in the year, but March 18 is typically accompanied by the clouds and precipitation.

Natural year
When chickweed and dandelions flower, then onion seeds and sets, potatoes, radishes, beets, carrots and turnips can be sown directly in the ground.

When nettle tops are ready to pick for greens, then peregrine falcons lay their eggs and bald eagle chicks hatch.

When wild onions are more than six inches tall, then cherry trees will soon start to bloom in Washington, D.C.

When horseradish leaves begin to emerge, dig the roots of that plant, plus parsnip, dock, and dandelion roots for drying.

When day lily foliage is four inches tall, wolf spiders hatch in the sun. When you see box elders, silver maples and red maples coming into bloom, then the first mosquito will be getting ready to bite you. When you see spring beauties budding, then the male titmouse will soon be spiraling in his mating frenzy.

When mock orange leafs out, water striders will be breeding in the ponds and rivers.

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 into the 70s this week, thanks to the waxing moon.

If you experience an increase in seasonal affective disorders on full moon day, March 14, you won’t be alone. On the other hand, the Index falls steadily throughout the remainder of the month, banishing the winter blues and promoting spring fever.

Best fishing
Fish after dark if you can stand the cold. Start as the moon comes up in the evening, and stay out until it moves overhead. For the second-best lunar time, try dawn to noon this week, especially just before the March 14th and 19th cold fronts.

Come to mother
By Charlotte Comstock
Knowing that sheep are not real fond of water, other than drinking, we were surprised one day when we witnessed seeing a young lamb swim across our pond.

What make’s it even more fascinating was that this lamb was blind. His mother was on one side of the pond and he was on the other. After hearing his mother call for several minutes, I guess he decided the quickest and easiest way to get to her was just to jump in and swim across.

Poor Will offers cash for stories
As announced in Poor Will’s Almanack for 2006, this year’s best story will win a prize of $50, and the five runners-up will receive $5 each.

In addition, Poor Will hereby promises to pay $3 for any story (whether it wins or not) that is published in the Almanack after this week.

Quick, Poor Will is running very low on stories. Send your work to Poor Will’s Almanack, P.O. Box 431, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387.

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 March 1, 2006 issue of Farm World.