The 159th Day of the Year
To loll back, in a misty hammock, swung
From tip to tip of a slim crescent moon
That gems some royal-purple night of June,
To dream of songs that never have been sung
Since the first stars were stilled and God was young….
James Whitcomb Riley
Day’s Length: 14 hours 56 minutes
Average High/Low: 80/59
Average Temperature: 69
Record High: 96 – 1933
Record Low: 41 – 1901
This is one of the sunnier June days, with a 90 percent chance for clear to partly cloudy conditions. Thunderstorms, however, occur about half the time. Temperatures are above 90 twenty-five percent of the years, in the 80s fifty-five percent, in the 70s twenty percent. Low temperatures remain above 60 degrees 40 percent of the nights. A cool dawn in the 40s happens ten percent of the time.
The Weather of the Week Ahead
The second week of June always brings an increase in the likelihood of highs in the 90s, and the average percentage of afternoons in the 80s rises above the average percentage for 70s for the first time in the year. Highs in the cold 60s are rare, occurring just five percent of the days. This week also brings more sunshine than almost any other week so far in the year: 85 percent of the days have at least partly cloudy skies. And the week also contains the second-driest day of the month, June 10th, which brings a shower only ten percent of the years. The 13th and 14th are also usually dry, both having just a 20 percent chance for rain. The wettest days in the period are June 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th, each having a 40 percent chance for rain. Between June 8th and 11th, the average temperature rise slows to one degree in four days instead of late spring’s one degree in three. Then, between the 15th to the 19th, it climbs just one degree in five days, reaching its summer zenith.
Large-flowered hydrangeas (like Anna Belle and the oakleaf) reach full flower. Daisies, golden Alexander, cressleaf groundsel, sweet rocket and common fleabane decline in the woods and pastures,; garlic mustard and ragwort are completely gone. Young toads plod across the sidewalks at night . White-spotted skippers,cabbage whites, tiger swallowtails, and red admirals sample the garden.
1982: Clifton Gorge to Jacoby Road: Wild strawberries are red and ripe. Blue-eyed grass, yellow sedum, moneywort, sulfur cinquefoil, fire pinks, white violets (viola striata), daisy fleabane, last rockets, and columbines, a final ragwort, clumps of daisies, yellow sweet clover, yarrow, wild parsnip, angelica, wild roses, pepper plant, wild iris, poison ivy and pink hedge bindweed are flowering.
1983: Fishing at Jacoby, I caught a bluegill and a carp. Flies, mosquitoes, and nettles bothersome. Sweet rockets and golden Alexanders provided color to the dark green undergrowth. Three very young wood ducks seen. Wild swamp iris full bloom.
1986: Madison, Wisconsin: Orange hawkweed just beginning. Leafy spurge, euphorbia esula, in full bloom through the countryside, turning the fields yellow.
1987: Yucca and crown vetch full bloom. Smooth brome and orchard grass becoming brown, red dock flowers complement their shades.
1988: First wild garlic blooms. Last white violets and sweet rocket. Chickweed has died in huge patches by the Covered Bridge, turning parts of the woods floor brown, catchweed yellowing beside it. Crown vetch full bloom, yucca not open. Woods dry from the drought, touch-me-nots and nettles wilting.
1989: Yellow Springs to Belize: Along the road to the Dayton airport, nodding thistles in early bloom, Canadian thistles only budding, and no chicory. Yesterday at South Glen along Grinnell, orchard grass was flowering and brome grass turning. It was full summer, the peak of all the first grasses. Tall meadow rue was unfolding. Blackberries and multiflora roses were completely open.
In Belize, the flamboyant trees were orange and red, full bloom. Mangoes and cashews, said the taxi driver, were just coming in. Hibiscus was blossoming throughout the capital. I saw the bright milkweed-like plant again, and yellow snapdragon weed, and low bindweeds. The rains have not started yet.
1990: First raspberry reddens, cherries turning.
1991: The paling of winter wheat in early June, then lighter and lighter green, then yellow, then tan, gold, brown, the smooth brome and orchard grass following, and dock’s red flowers darkening the roadsides more. Dominance of parsnips, yarrow, honewort, sweet clovers, wild daisies, crown vetch, elderberry, honeysuckle berries, thistles, motherwort, clustered snakeroot, chicory, trefoil, yucca, hemlock, purple vetch, the very first great mullein. There are patches of dying catchweed and chickweed yellow and matted. The last of the mock orange and the best roses now, angelica past its prime, decline of strawberries, end of the watercress – pale and turned underside up, May apple foliage mottled and yellowing, multifloras done, first black raspberry ready:-= high tide of early summer.
1992: At Caesar Creek, four big cats, a carp, and a bullhead all from far hole between 1:15 and 2:30. The catfish are in, the summer starting. Warblers and finches strong, multiflora roses dense full bloom by the inlet.
1993: Into South Glen: First white-spotted skipper, first blues, first black swallowtail. Blue damselflies, florescent green ones, and black ones, the latter most common. First mosquito. First moneywort. White waterleaf full bloom, white violets still holding, the last of the spring flowers.
1996: Spent flower heads of the Siberian iris taken off today, pyrethrums and rockets cut back. The May garden is over. Rains continue. Osage flower stems fallen along Dayton Street and around the shed in the yard. Yuccas tall and budding in Fairborn, seven miles from Yellow Springs.
1997: Siberian iris in decline, last of the lupines. This year is becoming even later than last year, turning into the coldest spring and early summer in the past 19 years.
1998: Wheat is turning golden brown all the way up to Lake Erie. Catalpas are in bloom, daisies, sweet clover, elderberries, daylilies, and coreopsis, line the highways north. In Savannah, Ohio, 100 miles north of Yellow Springs, the landscape is a week behind home, peonies still holding late.
2000: Yesterday, early summer earwigs in the bathtub. Moneywort was in full bloom along High Street, dock full of its small red flowers everywhere. The white anemones in front of Suzi’s house are down to maybe a fourth of their blossoms. This morning, the first stella d’oro lilies are open in the south garden, the plants just west of the early tigers. Purple loosestrife was showing a little pink on its tips before I cut it back. More yucca flowers noticed.
2001: Oakleaf hydrangea blooms at the library.
2002: First firefly. Elderberries blossoming now.
2003: The white mulberry is heavy with fruit. The first Asiatic lily opened this morning, soft pink. Osage flower stems cover the roof of the shed.
2004: Oakleaf hydrangea at home has been blooming for three or four days. The first mallow and the first larkspur opened in the north garden. Zinnas are budding. Baby rabbit seen in the lawn. Baby robin in the woodshed; I had to lift it out on the end of a broom. Jeanie reports frogs calling along Corey Street during the daytime. At night, some kind of frog is calling from the trees across Dayton Street. Yellow evening primroses hold. Stella d’oro lilies full everywhere, Heliopsis full along the bike path, yucca full in town. Achillea is in bloom, the pinks, whites and yellows, in the north garden. This morning, the very first robins began to twitter at 3:40 a.m. The first cardinal sang at 4:25 a.m.
2005: Full bloom of roses, spiderwort, catmint, rockets, sweet Williams, dead nettle. Small coreopsis budding. Penstemon reaches early full. Most catalpas in bloom, but one tree on South College Street has started to shed.
2007: A few catalpas remain in bloom. All rockets are gone – have been for at last a week. Penstemon in the garden is in decline, most sweet Williams fading. Oak leaf hydrangea is more than half flowered. Baby rabbit seen in the vegetable garden. Pale-leafed heliopsis has been in bloom for at least five days. Wisteria has been gone about a week. Yellow primroses continue in the north garden.
2008: Catalpas full bloom throughout the area. Rockets holding at maybe a fourth. Full penstemon and wisteria. Nodding thistle starting in Fairborn. Don’s oakleaf hydrangea has a few flowers. Wisteria suddenly gone on the back porch. Golden bi-fold winged butterflies are chasing each other now in the back yard in wild randori.
2009: Red-bellied woodpecker calls steadily from 5:14 in the morning. Full panicled dogwood and elderberry. Golden wheat. First chicory in bloom! Privet fading and burning bush flowers gone. First bud clusters on the Endless Summer hydrangeas. Crown vetch and fields of small daisies along the freeways. Grackles clucking in the Danielsons’ tree this evening.
2010: Linden trees at the triangle park are in late full bloom. Corn in some fields along the way to Fairborn is waist high. Milkweed seen completely open on the west edge of town. The first of Moya’s black-eyed Susans is open.
2011: Back from Italy to the overgrown and deer-ravaged garden, only the catmint and the toppled pentstemon in bloom. Robin chorus began at 3:45 a.m. Around the village, oakleaf hydrangeas have white flowers. In our north garden, purple coneflowers have buds, a few of the surviving daylilies are sending up flower stalks.
2012: One catalpa tree seen in bloom when we drove to Urbana this afternoon to purchase koi for the renovated pond. All the other local catalpas fell more than a week ago. Rugosa roses full at Ellis Pond.
2014: One large camel cricket in the tub this morning. The deep purple water iris in the pond are peaking today, the first ones decaying, five full beauties left.
2015: Pond iris almost exactly where they were last year, four full blooms remaining. Don’s pie cherry tree completely ready for pie.
2017: Twenty stella d’oro lily blossoms open this morning. Mosquitoes especially pesky. One water iris, only the second this year – and the last, is budding. At the library, oakleaf hydrangeas are in early full bloom. At the Island Park in Dayton, the season almost a week ahead of Yellow Springs: stella d’oros and Canadian thistles are full, ditch lilies and nodding thistles early full, purple coneflowers starting, one bi-color hosta blooming. Parsnips bright yellow, aging hemlock, linden flowers to berries. Milkweed beetles on the milkweed buds. Three adult geese with three goslings the size of a big boot. In the afternoon, all kinds of grackle activity, clucking and cackling, fledglings begging everywhere: Grackle Pentecost every year it seems, the great enlivening of birth and spirit.