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Fledgling moon favorable lunar time for fishing

By Bill Felker

Look at this beautiful world, and read the truth

In her fair page; see every season brings

New change to her of everlasting youth –

Still the green soil, with joyous living things

Swarms – the wide air is full of joyous wings. – William Cullen Bryant


The Moon and the Sun

The Second Week of Deep Summer

Fledglings continue to shadow their parents, begging for food throughout the Fledgling Moon that entered its second quarter at 9:14 p.m. on July 6. This moon then reaches perigee, its position closest to Earth, on July 13 at 4 a.m. and becomes a full Supermoon (perigee plus full) the same day.

Rising in. the afternoon and setting after midnight, this moon passes overhead in the evening, making that time the most favorable lunar time for fishing. The cool front of July 6 often brings more activity in the water, but then the Dog Days settle in with very little strong barometric activity until the July 14 cool front approaches.

On July 4 at 2 a.m., the Earth reached aphelion, the point at which it is farthest from the Sun. Aphelion occurs almost exactly six months from perihelion, Earth’s position closest to the Sun. The Sun enters its Deep Summer sign of Leo on July 22.

The sky of summer’s aphelion reflects the parallel universe of circular time. At noon, the stars overhead are the stars of winter’s midnight: Orion due south and the Pleiades overhead. On the clearest July afternoons, January’s Sirius is visible in the southeast.


Weather Trends

The cool fronts of Deep Summer normally cross the Mississippi River around July 14, 21 and 28. It is likely that the Corn Tassel Rains will extend through the first week of the month, give way briefly to a severe heat wave and then erupt into storms around the Supermoon of July 13, slightly earlier in the West, a few days later in the East. Accordingly, the middle of July will be a very likely time for the first hurricane to form in the Caribbean and threaten the Gulf region of the United States. New moon at the end of the month will create another period of increased risk for turbulent weather.


Zeitgebers: Events in Nature that Tell the Time of Year

The blueberry crop thins out now, and summer apples are about half picked. Milkweed pods appear on the milkweed, so check your calendar and start counting. Those pods should burst in about 80 days, when the first maples are turning.

Timothy is bearded with seeds and rose of Sharon starts to bloom. Stag beetles appear on your porch. Pokeweed has green berries, so expect the Japanese beetles to be at their strongest in the soybeans, ferns and roses.

Listen for morning birdsong to diminish and insect volume – especially from cicadas – to increase. That’s the time to put out your collard, kale and cabbage sets for fall.

Thistledown floats across the fields, and the cones of the staghorn sumac redden. Woolly bear caterpillars on the prowl, ready to forecast winter.

As July deepens, listen for a change in the volume and quality of morning birdsong. Watch for the first swallow migrations to begin. Robins will soon disappear, taking their fledglings with them, until early autumn.


In the Field and Garden

The harvest of winter wheat is usually well underway across the lower Midwest, and the canola harvest has begun in the North. The first ears of field corn are silking, and detasseling operations have begun in seed cornfields of the Midwest.

As summer warmth continues to build, remember that water consumption requirements for livestock are between two and three times that of dry food. High protein feed that contains salt will add to an animal’s need for liquid.

Hogs kept inside need plenty of ventilation and sometimes a good hosing down to keep them cool. Heat also increases the risk for poor air quality in the barn.

Mosquitoes that spread West Nile Virus are especially dangerous to you and your animals; check your property for mosquito breeding areas. Efficient manure management always cuts down on flies that attack your livestock.

Pastures of clovers and cool-season grasses stressed by drought early in the summer can suffer more severely during stagnant July weather. Consider developing annual pastures next year that can serve as a supplement to your perennials. Some homesteaders use silage corn for grazing as pastures go dormant.

As the Dog Days intensify, keep an eye on your animals after you have transported them to county or state fairs. Be sure they have plenty of attention, feed and water, especially at full moon, perigee and new moon.

Plan your goat and sheep breeding schedule for next year’s Easter Market in April. Demand is usually strong starting several weeks before the feast day.


Mind and Body

The S.A.D. Stress Index (which measures the forces thought to be associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder on a scale from 1 to 100) finally changes its downward course this week, beginning its Dog Day rise back into the 30s and 40s.


Almanack Classics

Nanny and the Lamb

A Story by Bob, Bonnie and Shirley Applegate, Washington, Iowa

Mother Ewe Number 9 gave birth to two boy lambs at the barn. They were white, and one was bigger than the other. The big one started to push off the little one.

Bob and Bonnie carried the little lamb to the goat shed so he could suck on a nanny goat. In a few days, the lamb just would follow them to the shed.

In a short time, the lamb found an extra-wide space in the fence, and he crawled through the holes to get to the nanny goat. He also found an open space under the loading chute at the barn, and he would go by himself to the goat shed and get breakfast, dinner and supper.

We watched him many times go across the yard by himself, “baaaing” all the way. The black nanny would come out of the shed and answer him. He crawled through the fences and would eat, crawl back out and go back to the barn 300 feet away. If it was hot out, he would stop in the shade of a piece of machinery and rest a while.

As time went along, the lamb grew and the hole in the fences got so the white lamb could not squeeze through, so he just stayed with the goats and finished growing up. The nanny did a real good job of raising him.


Send your memory stories to Poor Will, P.O. Box 431, Yellow Springs, OH 45387. Four dollars will be paid to any author whose story appears in this column.




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Copyright 2022 – W. L. Felker