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As spring advances chickens will be laying more eggs
 
Poor Will’s Almanack
By Bill Felker
 
 The Moon: The Snowdrop and Aconite Moon waned throughout the period, entering its last quarter at 10:10 p.m. on March 14. It reaches perigee, its position closest to Earth, on March 19, and then it becomes the new Daffodil Moon at 1:26 p,m, on March 21. Rising before dawn and setting in the evening, this moon passes overhead in the afternoon.
The Sun: Equinox occurs on March 20 at 4:24 p.m. EST. The sun enters the Middle Spring sign of Aries at the same time.
The Sun: Equinox occurs when the Sun is directly above the equator. At this point, night and day are approximately equal, and the Sun rises due east and sets due west.
The Planets: Mars remains in Taurus, well into the western sky before dawn. Saturn shines in Aquarius, but it is difficult to view near sundown in the southwest.
The Stars: At midnight, the Big Dipper is overhead, Orion sets in the west, and Libra (along with Jupiter) rises in the east.
Weather Trends: From today through the end of the month, the second major March storm period increases the threat of tornadoes in the South and surprise blizzards in the North.

The Natural Calendar
This is often the week above the Ohio River that the first mosquito bites and that the box elders and silver maples come into bloom. Foliage of lupine, phlox, columbine, coneflower, yarrow, sage, sweet pea, mallow, wild parsnip, goldenrod, snow-on-the mountain, New England aster, Queen Anne’s lace, pyrethrum, bleeding heart, lamb’s quarters and evening primrose is coming up across the land.
The mass flowering of violets and dandelions now occurs in the South and will arrive in the Lower Midwest in three or four weeks. Water striders breed in the ponds and rivers. Mock orange leafs out beside the new honeysuckle foliage. In the wetlands, ragwort starts to bud when weeping willows glow yellow-green. In the woods, toad trillium pushes up through the leaves.

In the Field and Garden
March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, a traditional time to plant peas and potatoes. This week’s dark moon offers some of the very best lunar seed starting of the entire year for those vegetables and for almost everything you care to plant. Nine weeks remain until tender vegetables can be set out. Lawn growth is now perceptible – three weeks before grass is ready to cut. Horseradish, dock and dandelion roots are ready for digging.
Chickens will soon be laying more eggs. Check your flock for mites, and clean and disinfect the henhouse as spring turns to summer. And fertilize your pastures several weeks before you let your livestock graze. Keep an eye out for bloat, however, as you let your kids, calves and lambs enjoy the new greenery. Fish continue to become more active as the weather warms. Learn their habits with the moon overhead in the middle of the day, especially as the March 19 weather system approaches.

Almanack Literature
Billy and Donny
by Lou Beard, El Paso, Texas
Billy and Donny were little orphaned lambs. Their mother did not give them up, but she passed away during their birth. They were the cutest things and had such personalities right from the start. We loved them, wrapped them up like babies and fed them warm milk every two hours. It was a lot of work, but it was also fulfilling and satisfying work. My sister and I were young, maybe 7 or 8 years old, and we still played with dolls. But the real thing was more fun.
Billy and Donny grew fast. Their fuzzy fur was so warm, and we kept them clean in their little boxes. Dad made sure the bedding was changed every day so that they would not get infected and would someday grow up to produce wool.
Billy was starting to jump out of his box, and soon Donny did too. They were running around all over the furnace room where we kept them, getting into the coal storage box. One day, Donny was covered in coal dust. All you could see were his eyes. And the next day, Mother said, “Them orphans have to go to the barn, and I mean today.”
Dad came in from the barn and took Billy and Donny to live in the barn. They got out every day and came to the house to find us. They would stay on the porch and wait for us until we got home from school.
Spring came after a long winter. One day Billy and Donny got out and went for Mother’s tulip garden that had just come into full bloom. They ate tulips for their lunch. Not just one, all of the tulips.
From then on, they were not let out of the barn. We would go visit them, but they were never allowed to run free and play in the yard. Years later, we all laughed about this, and now I am writing about it.
Memories, they are good things.
ANSWERS TO LAST WEEK’S SCKRAMBLER
WORBN BROWN
WOLCN CLOWN
NOWRC CROWN
NOWD DOWN
RNWOD DROWN
ORFNW FROWN
NWOG GOWN
UONN NOUN
NWDOA ADOWN
NWNWTDOO DOWNTOWN
NWOGHTGIN NIGHTGOWN
NWDRDOEEI EIDERDOWN

THIS WEEK’S RHYMING SCKRAMBLER CUKTR NOWRDETSURKC KUCAM LUTOPCK UOEBRKC CUKHCODOW HRRRSTRCKOOU STURKCREDNUHT LUCKP KUCCL CUDK
Poor Will’s Almanack for 2023 is still available. Order yours from Amazon, or, for an autographed copy, order from www.poorwillsalmanack.com. You can also purchase Bill Felker’s new book of essays, The Virgin Point: Meditations in Nature, from those sites.
Copyright 2023 – W. L. Felker
3/20/2023