The 154th Day of the Year
O for boyhood’s time of June
Crowding years in one brief moon,
When all things I heard or saw,
Me, their master, waited for.
John Greenleaf Whittier
Day’s Length: 14 hours 51 minutes
Average High/Low: 78/57
Average Temperature: 68
Record High: 99 – 1895
Record Low: 40 – 1929
Today’s high temperature distribution: 80s occur on 45 percent of all the days, 70s on 35 percent, 60s on 20 percent, 90s almost never. Thunderstorms develop half the years, but the sun returns 90 percent of the time.
June ushers in the four-month-long season in which the entire canopy of leaves is complete in almost the entire United States. Under the green crown of summer, Multiflora Rose Season, Lamb’s Ear Season, Heliopsis Season, Floribunda Rose Season, Oakleaf Hydrangea Season and Tea Rose Season are open in the garden. Moth Mullein Season, Sweet Clover Season, Canadian Thistle Season, Crown Vetch Season and Meadow Goat’s beard Season mark the roadsides. Late Clustered Snakeroot Season shelters daddy longlegs in the shade. Scarlet Pimpernel Season complements the lawn. Along the rivers, it is the middle of Turtle Egg Laying Season. Catalpa Season and Privet Season and Pink Spirea Season parallel Firefly Season and Cucumber Beetle Season, Daylily Season and Coreopsis Season, Purple Coneflower Season and Hollyhock Season, Chicory Season and Trumpet Creeper Season, Nodding Thistle Season and Great Mullein Season, Asiatic Lily Season and Sweet Ripe Black Raspberry Picking Season. Delicate Honewort Season declines through the forest as Pie Cherry Season fills the pies.
1983: Snowball viburnum almost gone, rockets still hold, and water cress. Lily-of-the-valley gone, milkweed three feet tall, two young blackbirds, just out of the nest, sitting on the lawn.
1984: Honeysuckles and bridal wreath spirea mostly completed in the yard, snowballs fading.
1985: Privet still full bloom, pink spirea has been open a few days. May apples fat at South Glen, honewort full, garlic mustard all bowing down, only an occasional rocket and white violet, green berries on the cohosh. Out in the field, cow parsnips full, full timothy, first tall meadow rue and dogbane flowering.
1986: Cardinals singing at 4:33 a.m. Black raspberries turning red, cherries ripening.
1987: Mulberries coming in, first ones completely ripe around the end of May. Blueweed suddenly open, first black raspberries darkening, cherries turning. Summer is advancing more quickly now with heavy rains, humidity, and temperatures in the 80s. Robin seen sitting on her eggs in the ginkgo outside my window.
1990: Osage flowers fall, catalpa buds are forming, peonies and iris still full in patches, privet time.
1991: Fishing at Caesar Creek, sun, warm, quiet: Around 10:00 a.m., three catfish in a row, a bullhead, two carp, then nothing for a while. Along the shores, carp splashing, sucking at the reeds and leaves, sometimes a low slurping, other times almost like the chucking of a squirrel. Bullfrogs croak from time to time, other frogs high chanting, steady through the morning. Webworms in the water willows, cottonwood still drifting, one question mark butterfly, a yellow swallowtail, and a small blue. Cicadas swarming in a nearby ash tree, periodic cicadas: red heads, orange legs, light orange wing ribs. Pale blue-bodied dragonflies with black wings, orange dragonflies. Brown spotted butterfly, a buckeye, sat on my right hand, unafraid and sipping salt from my skin. I wanted it to change hands. I put out my left index finger. It tasted it, climbed on. The afternoon went so quickly. By the end, a total of three cats, six carp, one bullhead, three large fish lost.
1992: Madison, Wisconsin to Gentilly in northwestern Minnesota: Locust trees in Madison: branches heavy with flowers, their rich scent on the wind. Sweet rockets full all the way north, huge sunflower foliage, full canopy on the roadside trees, milkweed two to three feet, and some with first bud clusters. Spurge was full from Illinois to central Wisconsin. Crop stages similar between Yellow Springs to Madison, but becoming behind by Eau Claire. Minnesota wheat was six inches to a foot tall (starting to turn near Yellow Springs), first corn just sprouted, sugar beets the size of radishes, blackbirds nesting from Ohio to the Canadian border. Lilacs in bloom in Gentilly, iris full bloom in Ada, cottonwood cotton in the streets of Crookston.
1993: Poison hemlock at the height of its flower. Wild strawberries are ripe, red in the east garden and the lawn.
1996: As I went to the greenhouse at 4:45 a.m., the first cardinal sang in the yard. First three strawberries perfectly ripe in the garden. Raspberries very small and green. Last year’s parsley sends up seed stalks. Young crow just out of the nest flew by me as I walked out the back door this afternoon, its parents watchful, loud for the next few hours.
1998: First heliopsis and first feverfew send out flower petals. First pink yarrow in the yard. Pyrethrum season is over.
1999: First orange Asiatic lily blossoms as all the blue flags end. Three peonies left, fragments of poppies, fragrant full bloom of the privet since the end of May, Catalpas full and falling. Snake skins found along the garden rocks for the past two weeks, water willow blooming beside them.
2000: Back from Lake Erie: the Japanese iris in the pond are done now for the year. Water willow opening in their place. In the south garden, the pink achillea has begun its season. On Fairfield Pike, the catalpas are full bloom still, the yucca spikes are five feet tall. Daisies lanky now, ranunculus disappearing, bright yellow sundrops all blossoming against the south wall, a patch of orange lilies along the north garden. The south side of the yard is now almost completely sealed off from the world by the foliage of the red mulberry trees.
2002: Earwigs and green damselflies in the garden. A yellow swallowtail visited the sweet rockets this afternoon. Kousa dogwood is still in full bloom in the triangle park.
2005: To the far end of Caesar Creek with John today, fishing in deep water to 100 feet. Not a bite all day. Penstemon opens in the north garden. Flags all gone.
2007: Constant grackle conversations, we assume, between parents and fledglings, in the bushes and back lot all day. The chatter has been going on for days, growing in intensity. The red-bellied woodpecker has been louder and more insistent, too – after a period of relative quiet. First scorpion fly seen in the yard.
2008: Returned from two days on the road and two days in Madison, Wisconsin. The two large koi, Emmet and Zelda, had been killed overnight by some kind of marauder. All the iris and Dutch iris are gone now, the peonies, sweet rockets, sweet Williams, and groundsel still full. Two tea roses bloomed: one yellow, one pink. Mock orange, locusts and honeysuckle are shedding hard, parts of the yard covered with flowers. The first cedar waxwings noticed in the white mulberry tree this afternoon. The first orange candy lilies opened near the trellis. In Xenia, stalks of yucca are waist high.
2009: Cardinal at 4:15 and 4:45. Red-bellied woodpecker at 5:15. Cold and gray all day. Catalpa flowers falling in Xenia. Faded chives flowers cut back. Wisteria gone, rockets very late, candy lilies full, three stella d’oros, coreopsis seen, primrose and lamb’s ear full, birds feeding heavily in the mulberry, giant aliums hold, earliest daylily gone, blue jay steady at the feeder, robins continue plentiful. Don’s multiflora roses gone, his black walnut finally fully leafed.
2010: The first ripe raspberry picked in the garden. The first yucca flower opened on Davis Street. Daisy fleabane blossoming among the bamboo, the Japanese iris full bloom.
2011: Italy: In Spoleto at La Rocca, spring has faded to summer, even though large patches of yellow ginestra still flower up and down the valley. Poppies have faded here, and I didn’t see the rugosa roses (rosa canina). A small-flowered campanula is open on the hillside, maybe campanula rapunculus, and some new yellow sedum with tall stems and bright yellow flowers – like sedum nupestre, and one four-petaled cardamine, like a sweet rocket.
2012: Milkweed open at the edge of town, many yuccas in full bloom, first shasta daisy in Liz’s yard (and her yellow flowered, foxglove-like plant with long, pointed leaves and mallow-mullein kind of flowers. Corn is past knee-high in the fields on the way to Fairborn. Constant scrawing of starling babies, robins peeping orientation to their young. Mockingbird-like call, long and melodious now in the early to midmorning for several days. Long, black cricket hunter seen on the stones at the edge of the pond. Smartweed in bloom pulled up as I was weeding the zinnias. The great blue hosta at the west edge of the yard just came into bloom this afternoon.
Judy writes from Goshen, Indiana: “First of all, the gosling report. There is one family whose young ones are really pretty big–I’d say almost 2/3 the size of the parents. The other families are smaller, although they’re coming along. I’ll have to hike over to Westbrooke pond, where they hang out most of the time, to get a better picture, but I’d say the other little ones are almost halfway. They are so darned cute!! I love the parades just as much as the cats, and that’s a lot.”
2013: To Erise in northwestern Sicily throughout the morning, visited the ancient temple and theater of Segesta in the afternoon. Much greater variety of plants throughout the drives and walks. I took photos of a thistle or sow thistle with bright yellow flowers. There were many Queen Anne’s lace in bloom – or a variety very similar.
2014: In Madison, Wisconsin, Tat’s deep red peonies opened today.
2015: Tat’s red peonies were opening last year on this date: they were full and drooping over the sidewalk from the rain when I arrived in Madison on May 29 this year. Grackles loud and excited in Don’s maple trees as I walked by this morning. Comfrey full bloom at the Antioch farm, just budded at Tat’s. White campion full here as in Madison.
2016: Spent flower clusters of the Osage tree falling on me as I walked past the shed (like on this day in 1990). In the north garden, a fine clump of bright yellow primroses had opened in the night. A few small quince fruits floating in the pond. At Peggy’s, the pie cherries are ripening. Peonies down to one red flower, new wild daisies strong, two stella d’oro blossoms (banks of them in the mall parking lot).
2017: Privet flowers completely gone.Serviceberries and late pie cherries deep red. Five stella d’oro lilies flowering in the yard. The count begins. Winter wheat is a rich gold between here and New Carlisle (where I saw a yucca in full bloom). Small blue bell flowers/campanulas blossoming in the alley, still not open here. A tall Christmas-tree-shaped catalpa is in full bloom at Chris and Debbie’s.
Wide are the meadows of night,
And daisies are shining there,
Tossing their lovely dews,
Lustrous and fair;
And through these sweet fields go,
Wand’rers ‘mid the stars—
Venus, Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars.
‘Tired in their silver, they move,
And circling, whisper and say,
Fair are the blossoming meads of delight
Through which we stray.
Walter de la Mare,”Wanderers”