Poor Will’s Clark County Almanack: Blackberry time

The Canada thistles turned brown in the heat. The downy seeds blew loose from their flower heads and drifted across the old fields, a first emblem of the summer’s inevitable passing. Small, warty seed pods appeared on some milkweed plants, while others were still in flower. — David Rains Wallace

Nighttime lows typically remain in the 60s, but chilly 50s occur an average of 15 percent of the time. Rain is a bit more likely in Clark County this week than it was last week as chances for showers rise over the next seven days, and temperatures in the 80s occur more than 55 percent of the time, with 90s coming 35 percent.

Highs above 100 are more likely to occur on July 15 and 16 than any other days of the Clark County year.

Lunar phase and lore

The Coneflower Moon, entering its second quarter the 11th, continues to wax throughout the period, becoming round and full on July 19 at 5:57 p.m. Fishing should be best during the evening as the moon climbs overhead at that time. The days prior to the 21 cool front are likely to be the most productive times of the week. Plant for autumn salads in Scorpio on July 15 and in Capricorn on July 17-19.

Natural calendar

July 15: The Corona Borealis, the horseshoe-shaped configuration that moves above this region in early summer, finally shifts to the west, signaling a shift toward autumn. Lanky Hercules replaces it; the Milky Way, along with Cygnus, Aquila and Lyra, approach from the east.

July 16: Late summer’s white snakeroot, poisonous to livestock, is budding in the woods.

July 17: A slight turning of the leaves is visible in some of the redbuds, Virginia creepers, box elders, and buckeyes. Foliage of Japanese honeysuckle and the multiflora roses is yellowing.

July 18: Fruits of the Osage orange are two-thirds grown, heavy enough to drop in a storm.

July 19: Woodlands and wetlands keep their avens, enchanter’s nightshade, lopseed, leafcup, touch-me-not, wood nettle, Joe Pye weed, monkey flower, and tall bell flower.

July 20: Pastures, roadsides, and alleys are full of chicory, Queen Anne’s lace, great mullein, wild petunia, milkweed, pokeweed, black-eyed Susan, butterfly weed, tall nettle, soapwort, St. John’s wort, gray-headed coneflower, blue vervain, white vervain, horseweed, oxeye, germander, teasel, fringed loosestrife, velvetleaf, wingstem, sundrops, small-flowered agrimony, bull thistle, tick trefoil, bush clover, burdock, showy and tall coneflower, jimson weed, pigweed, thin-leafed mountain mint, tick trefoil, downy false foxglove, and three-seeded mercury.

July 21: Swallows migrate; they can often be seen congregating on the high wires. When the mornings are cool, fog hangs in the hollows before sunrise.

Average Blooming Dates

July 15: Wild Sundrops

July 16: Butterfly Bush,

July 17: Tick Trefoil, Thin-Leafed Coneflower

July 18: Velvet Leaf, Bull Thistle

July 19: Water Hemlock, Early Goldenrod

July 20: Resurrection Lily

July 21: Burdock, Showy Coneflower

Field and garden

July 15: Blackberries come in throughout county waysides as bee balm loses color.

July 16: Cucumber pickle and green pepper picking and packing peaks.

July 17: Japanese beetles reach major levels in the soybeans.

July 18: Set out autumn collards, kale, cabbage, and broccoli.

July 19: About half the field corn is silking. Almost half of the soybean crop is in bloom, and summer apples are around a third picked.

July 20: In a relatively dry summer, more than three-fourths of the winter wheat has been cut by today.

July 21: Aphid infestations increase markedly on the farm and in the garden.


Between the one-hundredth day and the two-hundredth day of the year, the land completes middle spring, passes through late spring and early summer, then enters middle summer. By the two-hundredth day, the robins no longer sing before sunrise, and cardinals sleep late. Katydids and crickets often fill the nights. The field corn is tall, the sweet corn and tomatoes are coming in, and the wheat harvest is complete.

In another one hundred days, on October 28, most of the canopy will be gone. Middle and late summer, early fall and middle fall will have passed. The wildflower and garden seasons will be almost over. Witchhazel will be the only shrub in bloom. Farmers will have cut their soybeans and their corn for grain. The birds and cicadas and katydids will be silent; only the crickets will hold resist the chilly nights.

Almanack news

Send your observations to Poor Will’s Almanack at P.O. Box 431, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387 or to wlfelker@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.