Time Watching For the First Week of Middle Summer

June 25 – July 1, 2017

Now events reach back and forth through multiple seasons and habitats, are knit tightly with each other. Finally, nothing is separate. Everything comes together. One event is all there is.

Moon Time: The Sweet Corn Moon waxes through the week, entering its second quarter on June 30 and becoming gibbous the next day. Rising in the evening and setting after midnight, this moon shines throughout the first half of the night.

Sun Time: The sun’s declination remains near its solstice position of 23 degrees, its highest point in the earth’s sky, this last week of June. The day’s length, however, loses about five minutes along the 40th Parallel.

Planet Time: Moving retrograde into Taurus, Venus leads Orion (as well as Sirius, the Dog Star) into the morning.

Star Time: 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 Time: The July 6 Front: The Dog Days and the Corn Tassel Rains often begin on July 3 as the chance for highs in the 90s rises and the threat thunderstorms increases.

Zeitgebers: Events in Nature that Tell the Time of Year: Purple coneflowers, white vervain, horseweed, germander, teasel and wild lettuce blossom in the fields; tall bellflowers and great Indian plantain open in the woods. The first white-flowered thimbleweeds set thimbles. June’s berries are disappearing: black raspberries and strawberries decline quickly in warmer years; the best mulberries have fallen. July’s wild cherries ripen, and elderberries set fruit.
Thistledown lies across the pastures in the windless afternoons, cottonwood cotton along the streets.. The oats matures and the first tier of soybeans blooms. Maroon seedpods have formed on the locusts. Some green-hulled walnuts are already on the ground.  The earliest cicadas start to chant. This year’s ducklings and goslings are nearly full grown. Trumpet vine flowers fall in the midsummer rains.

Field and Garden Time: Try to time your harvest as the barometer is rising after cool fronts pass over your property. Dig your garlic before the heads break apart. Plant your autumn turnips right afterwards.Young raccoons and groundhogs become serious marauders as they grow to maturity. This may be the time for you to take preemptive measures to protect your corn and other crops.

Marketing Time: Prepare your roadside stand for the 4th of July weekend. Then think about the Muslim feast of Eid Al-Adha: (Festival of Sacrifice) on September 1 – 2. Lambs and kids in the range of 55 to 80 pounds are favored for this market.

Mind and Body Time: The Amanack Horoscope favors almost everybody this week. In the stability of this brightest time of year, you should have plenty of mental resources for all the work you have to do. In fact, the period between late June and the end of July is one of the best psychological spaces in the course of the seasons.

Creature Time (for fishing, hunting, feeding, bird watching): The waxing moon will be overhead before dark this week, and fishing should, therefore, be more productive at those times. The falling barometer before the cool fronts of June 29 and July 6 is expected to make late June evenings and the early nights around our nation’s birthday excellent times for angling. Continue to watch for great spangled fritillaries in the garden, and often hummingbird moths come to visit the beebalm around this time of year. Listen for adult robins guiding their fledglings through the honeysuckles with short intermittent peeping. And the annual cicadas (the green ones) should start their screeching calls any day now.


Since 1984, Poor Will’s Almanack by Bill Felker has provided a guide to living in harmony with the Earth. Bill’s weekly and monthly almanack columns currently appear in more than a dozen regional and national publications. Learn more about Bill Felker and the history of Poor Will’s Almanack »

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