Sun Time: On April 10, the sun reaches a declination of 7 degrees 53 minutes, about 65 percent of its way to summer solstice. And the field and garden day is increasing at an average rate of two minutes per day.
Planet Time: Jupiter, remaining in Virgo, lies close to the western horizon before dawn, at its brightest (and its moons most visible) on April 7. Saturn, in Sagittarius, moves above the southern horizon as the Sun brightens the east.
Star Time: Late in the evening, Hydra fills almost the entire southern horizon. Behind Hydra, Libra has risen from the southeast, Sagittarius on its heels. Ahead of Hydra, Monoceros moves into the west below the Dog Star, and the Milky Way settles into the sunset even as it rises with the first stars of Cygnus in the northeast.
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The April 11 Front: Although this is usually a relatively mild "sandwich front," nestled between the April 6 system and the wet and windy April 16 front, full moon on the 11th is likely to intensify this weather system. Once the April 11 front passes through (and the moon wanes), the normal average air temperature rises at the rate of about one degree every three days.
Zeitgebers: Events in Nature that Tell the Time of Year: The horoscope from nature is all positive. This is the average week for violets to bloom from Washington, D.C., all the way across the nation to central California. When violets flower, that means that swamp buttercups, toad trillium, cowslip, trout lily, small-flowered buttercup and ground ivy will also blossom.
Downy woodpeckers are mating. Baby groundhogs have come out of their dens. Water rushes and purple loosestrife, water lilies and pickerel plants have suddenly produced foliage. Water striders are courting now, and small diving water beetles hunt for food.
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Crab apple and cherry blossom time begins in the Lower Midwest and usually lasts into the last week of the month. Columbines and bleeding hearts are bushy and nearly a foot tall.
Redbud branches turn violet as their buds stretch and crack. Trillium grandiflorum are starting to flower. The first yellow trout lilies of the year come out. Star of Holland and the fritillaries bloom. Cowslip flowers appear below the ash and sugar maples in full bloom.
Farm and Garden Time: Japanese beetle grubs now move to the surface of the ground to feed. They are fat, white and shaped like crescents. Look for them when you are working in the garden.
All across the country, farmers are seeding oats and spring barley. Field corn planting is in full swing throughout the South and the central states, cotton planting along the Gulf. .
Mounds begin to show on your lawn as moles wake up and hunt grubs and worms. When the moles start working, flea season begins for pets and livestock. And flies are infesting the barn! Rhubarb leaves are bigger than a big man’s hand, the stalks hinting about rhubarb pie. In your yard, the grass is long enough to cut.
Marketing Time: This week is one of the busiest times of the marketing year as Easter (April 16) and New Year's Day for immigrants from Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. (April 13-15) approach.
Mind and Body Time: There is pollen in your future this week. Allergy season is here throughout the nation. During April, trees are in full flower throughout the Central Plains, the Northeast, the Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. In the Southeast, all the grasses are coming into bloom. The April 11 high-pressure ridge typically sweeps the northern pollen across the East, and the low pressure that precedes the high pressure brings up the pollen from the South. The increase in pollen can increase the chances for colds, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Creature Time (for fishing, hunting, feeding, bird watching): When the barometer falls in advance of the April 11 cold front, fishing could well be the best of the year so far (but dieting may be more difficult). Time your angling outings for the evening, when the moon is overhead or in the mornings when the moon is below the earth. Bird migrations intensify as April deepens. Look for barn swallows, rough-winged swallows and purple martins. Often the passage of a high-pressure system will bring migrants through your yard.
Driving from Clark County to the Florida state line: In Kentucky, redbuds are just barely open above the late fields of dandelions (a week or so ahead of Springfield). Forsythia and white magnolias bloom at the Tennessee border. In Knoxville, quince, crab apples and decorative pears are in full flower. Pears are fully open in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Across the divide of the Great Smokies, down toward the middle of South Carolina, the high tree line is gold and orange and pale green with buds and flowers. Yellow Jessamine climbs through the bare branches. Dogwood comes in by Colombia. Tropical red clover grows along the coastal highways. Wisteria and azaleas are at their best in Charleston. Wild cherry trees blossom above Savannah. Monarch butterflies explore the barrier islands. Rhododendrons flower in Jacksonville.