Poor Will’s Clark County almanack: Chiggers bite this week

The season wears on. Soon the last summer plantings, and the fall planting will be made; and the longest day is at hand.

-Harlan Hubbard

Lunar Phase and Lore

The Raspberry Moon, entering its second quarter on June 12, waxes throughout the period, reaching apogee (its position farthest from Earth) on June 15 and becoming totally full at 6:02 a.m. on June 20.

As the moon waxes, it will be overhead in the evening hours, making late afternoon through midnight the best time for fishing. As the barometer gradually falls in front of the June 23 cool front, fish should be more active.

Try to complete planting of all field and garden crops that will bear their fruit above the ground before full moon, especially under Scorpio (June 15 to 17). Plant root crops after full moon under Capricorn, June 20 to 23.

Weather Trends

The 16th is the first day of a three-day period during which relatively little precipitation ordinarily occurs. And after this date, chances for a high below 70 drop to less than 5 percent (except for three scattered days in July and August) until the first week of September. Chances for warm temperatures above 80 degrees remain relatively steady at 80 percent throughout the period. Sun is more common than clouds, and there is only a 20 percent chance for a completely overcast day during this time of June.

The Natural Calendar

June 10: Grapes are blossoming throughout the vineyards of northeastern Ohio. Cucumber beetles reach economic threshold in the cucumbers, gourds and melons.

June 11: Fertilize roses, asparagus and rhubarb; side dress the corn; cut broccoli and harvest early cabbage

June 12: Lily blooming time reaches from early June through early August.

June 13: Late in the evening, Arcturus is the brightest star directly above you. The Corona Borealis and Hercules follow it. Scorpius is centered in the southern sky and dominates it until early July. Orion is overhead at noon, promising the Dog Days of July.

June 14: Chiggers bite. Acorns are forming.

June 15: Walleye fishing on Lake Erie is usually at its best when yucca blooms in Clark County.

June 16: It’s high noon of the year, the peak of black raspberry season, goose molting season, the end of asparagus and rhubarb season, the first of sweet-corn-tassel season.

Average Blooming Dates

June 10: Early Season Hosta, Shasta Daisy, Queen Anne’s Lace, Veronica

June 11: Hollyhock, Beardtongue

June 12: Mallow, Larkspur, Avens

June 13: Tall Meadow Rue, Great Mullein

June 14: Leather flower, Common Sow Thistle, Common Milkweed

June 15: Large-Leafed Hostas, Wild Petunia

June 16: White Sweet Clover, Lizard’s Tail

In the Field and Garden

June 12: A minimum of one hundred frost-free days still remains in most of the area.

June 13: One third of the oats crop is headed in an average year. The first generation of sod webworms is born near this date.

June 14: The wheat is almost all headed, and a third of the crop in the lower Midwest is turning by now. The first cut of alfalfa hay is typically three-fourths complete.

June 15: Japanese beetles are on the move. Head scab and glume blotch develop on wheat as mildew declines.

June 16: Six to eight leaves have emerged on field corn. Tobacco is at least three-fourths transplanted. Strawberries are more than half harvested.

Journal

The more I learn about nature in this place, the more I find applicable to the outside world. The microclimate in which I immerse myself becomes a key to the extended environment; the part unlocks the whole. My local gnomon that measures the movement of the Sun along the ecliptic also measures my relationship to every other place on earth.

My occasional trips turn into exercises in the measurement of variations in the landscape. When I drive 500 miles northwest, I not only enter a different space, but often a separate season, and I can mark the differences in degrees of flowers, insects, trees and the development of the field crops. The most exciting trips are taken south in March; I can travel from early spring into middle spring and finally into late spring and summer along the Gulf Coast.

My engagement with the natural world has finally turned into a way of getting private bearings, and of finding a sense of values. It is a process of spiritual as well as physical reorientation.

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