June 1: Daybook for the Year in Yellow Springs

June 1st
The 152nd Day of the Year

I will measure one by one
through this sweetest afternoon,
strawberries, mulberries,
ducklings and dragon flies,
crickets and fireflies
under the waxing moon,
sundrops, angelica,  yucca buds,
meadow rue, thistles and raspberries
lilies, astilbe,
telling the time in June.

Hepatica Sun

Sunrise/set: 5:09/7:57
Day’s Length: 14 hours 48 minutes
Average High/Low: 78/57
Average Temperature: 67
Record High: 97 – 1895
Record Low: 42 – 1972

Today brings a five-percent chance for highs in the 90s, forty percent for 80s, forty percent for 70s, fifteen percent for 60s. Rain occurs 35 percent of the time, and the sun shines eight years in a decade. A very slight chance (one to three percent) of light frost remains until the 14th of June.

The Weather of the Week Ahead
Temperatures for the days of this week rise into the 70s on 35 percent of the afternoons, into the 80s on 40 percent, and into the 90s on ten percent. After June 6th, the likelihood of highs reaching into the 90s jumps to 20 percent, and reaches 35 percent by the middle of the month. About 15 percent of the nights bring temperatures in the 30s or 40s. Rainfall is usually lighter this week than last, and the sun shines more. Still, showers fall about 40 percent of the time each day, except for the 4th, which has just a 30 percent chance, and the 6th, one of the driest days of June in the Lower Midwest, which has just a 15 percent chance for precipitation.

Between the last week of May through the first week of September, approximately fourteen major cool fronts of summer cross the United States. As these high-pressure systems approach, atmospheric conditions become unsettled, and rain becomes more likely. After the passage of the fronts, weather is ordinarily suitable for outdoor work and recreation. Fronts will reach the Mississippi around the following dates; they will come through about two days earlier in the West, a day or two later in the East.

June 2:  The June 2nd front can bring a light freeze along the Canadian border and at higher elevations, but the rest of the country is typically safe by this time in the year (except for a very slight danger of frost on the morning of the 5th).  After this front weakens, chances for highs in the cool 60s along the 40th Parallel fall to only 15 percent, and 50s are rare.

June 6:  The low-pressure system that accompanies the June 6th front initiates a four-day period during which there is an increased chance for tornadoes and flash floods.  Even after this front passes to the east, storms often strike up to 40 percent of the years.  Part of the reason for the rise in the risk for severe weather is the increase in the percentage of afternoons in the 80s and 90s almost everywhere in the continental United States.  With the heat, however, comes more sunshine than during any other week so far in the year.

June 10:  Good chances for a shower precede this weather system, and after its passage, chances are the best so far in the year for a major heat wave.  In all but the northernmost states (and at the highest elevations), lows near freezing and highs only in the 50s or 60s now recede from the realm of serious possibility until late August.  Although showers can be associated with warm temperatures, many of the days between this front and the next are dry.  The sunniest June days usually occur between now and the 26th.  Approximately 100 frost-free days now remain on most farms and gardens of the country.

June 15:  Unsettled conditions often surround the arrival of this front (between the 13th and 16th) as late spring and early summer hold their final skirmishes along the nation’s midsection.  After summer is victorious, precipitation typically stays away for several days.  Between the 15th and the 19th, average temperatures climb their final degrees, reaching their summer peak near solstice.  The period between the 13th and the 26th is historically one of the best times of the month for fieldwork.

June 23:  The June 23rd high-pressure system is typically cool and dry, and it is often followed by some of the sunniest and driest days of all the year.  Cooler conditions in the 70s or even the 60s are most likely to occur on the 23rd and 24th, as the front arrives, but then the afternoons usually warm to the 80s or 90s.  As the next June front approaches, the benign effects of the June 23rd system can be expected to give way to storms.

June 29:  The final weather system of the month is almost always followed by the Corn Tassel Rains, a two-week period of intermittent precipitation that accompanies the Dog Days of middle summer.  If your land has been dry throughout June, the Corn Tassel Rains 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 the year’s midsection, highs below 80 degrees occurring more than half the time above the Border States.

Natural Calendar
The first week of a Yellow Springs early summer lies between the growing middle summer heat of the states below the Ohio River and the cool of late spring to the north.

Throughout the Lower Midwest, foliage the high canopy is almost complete. The winter wheat is just starting to turn. Banks of yellow stella d’oro lilies open. Staghorns redden on the sumac, and cottonwoods spill their cotton Poison hemlock and elderberries and daisies are in flower. Strawberries ripen. Honeysuckle blossoms have all come down, and garlic mustard is almost bare.

South of Cincinnati, the hemlocks are seeding, and Canadian thistles are in full bloom.  A few miles north of Lexington, white sweet clover replaces the hemlock along the freeway, and cattails emerge, golden with pollen. Trumpet creeper is bright orange and Queen Anne’s lace silver three hours south of Yellow Springs at Berea.

Roadside tiger daylilies (ditch lilies) and milkweed pace the bee-balm throughout Knoxville, Tennessee. Below Spartanburg, South Carolina, July’s wild lettuce and horseweed follow the fencerows. Around Charleston, corn is already tasseling, some ears formed. Farmers have cut their wheat. Catalpa beans are over a foot long, August size for Yellow Springs.

But north to Michigan and Wisconsin, locust trees are still heavy with new flower clusters, their rich scent on the wind. Purple sweet rockets are lush all the way into Minnesota where the wheat is only six inches tall, the first corn just sprouted, sugar beets and peony buds are the size of radishes. Lilacs and iris are still fragrant near the Canadian border, strawberries only past flowering.

1982: The middle of strawberry season in the yard.

1984: Chicory still not blooming.

1986: Strawberries peaking in the garden. At Jacoby Swamp, 8:00 a.m., geese with goslings maybe a third grown, a flock of finches, biting flies, box turtle on the path, crickets strong. Huge prairie false indigo, baptisia leucantha, late bloom in the high prairie up from the road (seen late May at South Glen in 1993). Cobwebs across the path. Fire pinks still in bloom. Gold-collared black flies mating, swarming. Wild roses and corn salad still in full bloom, heavily fragrant. First dragonfly. Several baby toads noticed. Violet swamp iris late full bloom. First large-petaled wild rose seen. Geese fly over the house at 8:40 p.m.

1987: No chiggers yet. Small toads seen at the lake shore.

1988: The pieces of summer fitting together like a puzzle solving itself: goslings growing up along Yellow Springs Creek, box turtles out laying eggs, cobwebs closing the paths. First sundrops blooming, sweet rockets most all to seed, last remnants of May. Catalpas in early bloom, many still budding. Yucca flower stalks two feet high, like huge, thick asparagus. Tall meadow rue budding at South Glen, one covered with golden aphids. Multiflora roses all open. Spring field crickets prominent at night. Cardinals have been feeding their babies for about a week now.

1989: First ditch daylilies seen today

1990: Nodding thistle opening.

1991: Intense heat continues, accelerating early summer. John Poortinga brought a bowl of red mulberries to Jean, then two ripe cherries. Ranunculus and pyrethrums gone at the south wall. Dock, tree of heaven and astilbe full bloom, pokeweed heading and nearly open, primrose full, mallow budding, zinnias budding, two four o’clocks have trumpet buds. More tiger lilies are budding, lychnis blooming big and full. Vegetable garden totally out of hand, broccoli bolting, peas filling up, lettuce and radishes gone to seed. First raspberry reddening along the garden wall. Yucca open in town. At the bridge, blue cohosh has its first blue berry, and bottle grass has emerged.

1993: Locusts in front of Wesley Hall in Wilberforce dropping green florescence.

1994: First firefly seen tonight, despite the dry, cool May.

1997: First pink peony opened in the rain. Mock orange full, flags nearing full. Locusts and Osage still pretty bare. Many honeysuckle flowers falling. This may be the latest the canopy has closed since 1978.

1998: Jacoby, north to High Prairie: Hobblebush centers are budding. Wingstem, leafcup, touch-me-nots are up to my waist. Honewort, clustered snakeroot dominate the undergrowth. Gold-collared black flies are out, and buckeyes, skippers, damsel flies, small tan moths, spitbugs, many ichneumans – one red with black wings. Springs and brooks as full as I’ve ever seen them. Tulip tree petals gold and peach color, like seashells in the swamp water below the brooks. Maple seeds along the path, fallen in tandem. One-inch May apple fruit, shining under its foliage. Blue jays and crows screech. Very last rockets and multiflora roses.  Bright red wild strawberries. Purple waterleaf long gone, white still in flower. Thousands of blackberries fully fruited inside of High Prairie. Last ragwort petals along the river. Wild cherry fruit well set. Cattails almost up to last year’s brown remnants, some with pollen. Dredlocks of purple vetch at Middle Prairie, veins of golden moneywort in the mowed paths. First white yarrow. Old white violets still common. Wild garlic flowers, striped like spring beauties. Blue-eyed grass, fire pink. Some teasel headed along the highway.  At home, the pyrethrums are gone. First water willow blooms in the pond. First great mullein flower opens.  Fireflies in the yard after dark.

2000: I accidentally stepped on a camel cricket in the kitchen at 12:30 this morning; I saw another in the greenhouse at 6:00 a.m. My notes from May 31st last year record the first camel at 4:30 a.m. To northern Ohio: peonies full bloom there, sweet rockets, and columbine.

2001: Wood thrush call identified. First stella d’oro daylily fully open. First pink achillea opens in the south garden.

2002: First violet scabiosa seen open. Peak now of daisies, late sweet rockets, spiderworts, poppies, sweet Williams, Japanese honeysuckles and privets. Peonies, rhododendrons, mock orange and locusts all ended together at the end of May.

2003: At the Santee-Cooper reservoir in South Carolina, wheat is dark brown, and corn is almost ready to tassel.

2007: No cedar waxwings seen in the white mulberry tree yesterday or today.

2009: First fireflies seen in the park.

2010: First Japanese iris open in the pond over night. Moth mullein blooming, bright fields of parsnips and hemlock on the way to Xenia. Catalpa flowers covering the trees and the ground. Pokeweed eight feet tall and budded in the alley. Wild lettuce eight feet, too. Buds seen on the Davis Street yucca. Two Queen Anne’s lace plants have opened in the north garden. And Rick wrote the following about the number of fecal sacks from grackles last week: “Wouldn’t you know that right about the time I was about to give up, the problem solved itself.  The babies, wherever they were, all must have fledged at once because the onslaught abruptly stopped.”

2011: Italy: Olive trees now in full bloom throughout the Umbrian countryside. At Gary’s, the roses were not so lush as they were ten days ago. The money plant was all to seed. Large-flowered campanula was in full bloom, lavender in early bloom, and pink valerian, which I had seen throughout Rome, continued to flower.

2012: The first heliopsis flower and the first purple coneflower were fully open this morning in the rain. The first raspberry in the garden is ready to pick. Serviceberries are red. But after a mild night, this day never made it out of the 60s, and the wind is blowing steadily from the northwest. Birds fed hard all day, the first nuthatch fledgling seen. Last night’s rain, probably close to two inches, has given all the sprouts and transplants the moisture they need to develop well throughout the next several weeks. Orange Asiatic lilies have peaked by now. A family of five starling fledglings playing in the pond, bathing on the lily pads. First Endless Summer hydrangea blossoms. First chigger bite on my ankle. Cattail stalks have emerged in the roadsides, soon to flower.

2014: To Madison, Wisconsin: Lush and green in the sun all the way north. Roadsides full of yellow sweet clover, red clover, crown vetch, purple vetch, small daisies, parsnips, honeysuckles, multiflora roses, hemlock. The first chicory of the year seen west of Indianapolis. Nodding thistles coming in. A few moth mulleins in flower. No cattails showing among their tall ditch leaves. Some corn fields had sprouts three to six inches high near Yellow Springs, but sprouting was spotty and inconsistent throughout the trip. Approaching the Wisconsin line, I saw bright yellow spurge all along the roads, blossoming all the way to Madison. The canopy seemed thinner toward northern Illinois, but Madison seemed just a little behind southern Ohio. One daffodil and one tulip were still open. Tat’s prairie false indigo, her geums, columbines, wild geraniums, garlic mustard, sweet rockets were in full bloom. Her peonies in the sun were just ready to open. In the city, many locusts and catalpas were full of flowers.

2016: At the quarry, Jill and I found banks of yellow sweet clover and clusters of daisies, a patch of crown vetch, brome grass with golden pollen, green frogs croaking, tadpoles still hiding in the shallows of the pools, red-winged blackbirds in the cattails (which had produced long, thin flower buds) and killdeers swooping and crying back and forth. As we left, a small “V” of maybe two dozen Canadian geese flew over, calling, flying to the northwest. From Goshen, Indiana, Judy reported many sweet rockets, lupines and Solomon’s plume in flower along her bike path. By the quarry parking lot, I took a few clumps of daisies for the garden. In the yard last night, I saw my first fireflies (the 26th for Rick and Matt).

2017: The first stella d’oro lily opened in the yard over night. A drift of large white-flowered anemonefound along the path at Buck Creek Park, only honewort blooming in the deep woods. Cabbage white butterflies more common in the yard today.

Now come the rosy June, and blue-eyed Hours,
With song of birds, and stir of leaves and wings….

William Webbe

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