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The Valley, May 2014


Poor Will’s Valley Almanack for Late Spring of 2014 by W. L. Felker We looked far across the valley, to the green fields and the green of woodlands and the shadow of valleys. The air vibrated with birdsong, which is the great rhythm made palpable to the ear. All the senses tingled, alive with the season as the world itself is alive. Nothing was impossible. High achievement was all around us, beating on every one of our senses for recognition. --Hal Borland The Sun On May 21st, the sun enters Gemini; it enters the middle summer sign of Cancer on June 21, summer solstice day, at 6:51 a.m. EDT. Between June 19 and 23, the sun remains at its solstice declination of 23 degrees 26 minutes, and the day’s length remains virtually unchanged everywhere in North America. The Planets Venus keeps its position as the morning star throughout May and June. Mars and Jupiter are evening stars in the west throughout the period. Saturn is visible at night along the center of the southern horizon The Shooting Stars The Eta Aquarids are active on May 5 and 6. Find them after midnight in Aquarius above the southeastern horizon. The dark moon should favor meteor viewing, and the early morning of May 5 should produce the most meteors. The Stars The Summer Triangle is the stellar gauge of summer. It is a parallel marker to Orion that clocks the unfolding of the leaves and flowers. Accompanied by the opposite

end of the Milky Way, it appears on the evenings of May. Its triple constellations, Lyra, Cygnus and Aquila, contain three prominent capstone stars, Vega, Deneb and Altair, which form a giant triangle. When all these stars come up after dark, the canopy of leaves is almost complete. Mock orange and peonies and iris blossom in the gardens, morning birdsong swells, strawberries ripen, sweet clover is open by the roadsides, and goslings enter adolescence. When Vega, Deneb and Altair are positioned overhead at midnight, then the birds are quiet, ragweed pollen is in the air, blackberries are sweet, hickory nuts and black walnuts are falling, katydids and cicadas and late crickets are singing, rose of Sharon colors the garden. When leaves are turning throughout the nation and the last wildflowers have completed their cycles, then Lyra, Cygnus and Aquila set in the west after sundown, leading the Milky Way through Cassiopeia and Perseus, dividing the heavens into equal halves, for an instant holding in balance summer and winter, linking the Summer Triangle with Orion rising again in the east. Holidays for Homesteaders May 26, 2014: Memorial Day: Have your lamb, chevon and early vegetables at local markets for Memorial Day cookouts and picnics. Peak Activity Times for Livestock, Fish and Wild Game Fish, game, livestock and people tend to feed more and are more active as the barometer is falling one to three days before the weather systems that arrive near the following dates, dates on which cold fronts normally cross the Mississippi River: May 2, 7, 12, 15, 21, 24 & 29. Seek food and offer food at midday when the moon is new, in the afternoon and evening when the moon is in

its first quarter, at night when the moon is full and in its third quarter, in the morning when the moon is in its fourth quarter. MAY – WEEK 1 The Second Week of Late Spring Lunar Phase And Lore The Forsythia Moon, having brought all the forsythia hedges into flower, becomes the new Tulip Moon on April 29 at 1:14 a.m., then it waxes throughout the first half of May, reaching its second quarter at 10:15 p.m. on the 6th. Rising in the morning and setting in the evening, this moon moves overhead (its best position for angling – but worst for dieting ) in the afternoon. Lunar position in Taurus during the last two days of April and in Cancer between May 3 and 5 are recommended for all your summer planting. The waxing moon (in the first two weeks of both May and June this year) is especially good for the seeding and setting out of all flowers and vegetables that will bear their fruit above the ground. The waxing moon is also fine for the harvest of spring vegetables. Since the moon may exert less influence on ocean tides and on human and animal behavior when it comes into its 2nd and 4th quarters, it might make more sense to perform routine maintenance on your livestock and pets today or about May 21. Lunar apogee on May 6 – the same day as the moon comes into its second quarter – will provide superb conditions for long talks with friends and family, and for working with livestock and pets. Weather Trends Cool fronts are due to cross the Mississippi on or about May 2, 7, 12, 15, 21, 24, and 29. Full moon on May 14 and new moon on May 28 could contribute to unseasonable cold and to unstable meteorological conditions. Lunar perigee (when the moon is closest

to earth) on May 18 is likely to strengthen the effect of the full moon and intensify the likelihood of bad weather. Tornadoes, floods or prolonged periods of soggy pasture are most likely to occur within the following windows: May 3 – 12 and May 17 – 24. MAY – WEEK 2 The Second Week of Late Spring Lunar Phase And Lore The Tulip Moon, entering its second quarter at 10:15 p.m. on May 6, continues to wax throughout the week, becoming completely full at 2:16 p.m. on May 14. Rising in the afternoon and setting after midnight, this moon moves overhead (its most potent position of angling – and for bringing tulips into bloom) early in the night. Lunar position in Cancer on the 4th and 5th could be best for planting; however, the waxing moon favors completion of all field and garden planting through the end of the period. Weather Trends Normal temperatures continue to rise at the rate of one degree every three days this month. Average highs move from the upper 60s on the first of May to the upper 70s by the beginning of June. Lows climb from the middle 40s to the middle 50s. The mean temperature for the month in this region is a little over about 60 degrees, and it reflects conditions generally throughout the lower Midwest. Distribution of high temperatures in May is normally five days in the 80s, fifteen days in the 70s, seven days in the 60s, and four days in the 50s. MAY – WEEK 3 The Third Week of Late Spring Lunar Phase And Lore The Tulip Moon, rising in the evening and setting in the morning, moves overhead in the middle of the night and becomes completely full on May 14 at 2:16 p.m. On May 18, the moon is at

“Fair & Balanced” means Spin gets Equal Time

perigee, its position closest to earth. Lunar phase and position will keep tides (both in the ocean and in humans) high this week. Expect increased activity and irritability in people, pets and livestock. Fishing between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., however, should be enhanced by the powerful moon. Lunar passage through Scorpio between May 12 and 14 and through Capricorn between May 17 and 19 will favor all spring plantings, especially root crops, shrubs and trees. Heightened metabolic rate of seeds started close to the full of the moon may accelerate spouting. Weather Trends In an average year, May is often the second wettest month, and rainfall is ordinarily greatest as strawberries begin to set fruit. The soggiest May days, those with at least a 45 percent chance for precipitation, are the 12th, 18th, 19th, 22nd, 25th, 26th, and 27th; wettest of all, with a 60 percent chance for rain, is the 29th. High temperatures are usually above 60 degrees, with the chances for 70s or better rising to 70 percent, a ten percent increase over last week’s chances. Cold highs in the 50s occur rarely. Chances for frost are low, but tender plants are in most danger after the passage of May’s fourth cold front on the 15th and the fifth cold front on the 20th. MAY – WEEK 4 The Fourth Week of Late Spring Lunar Phase And Lore After reaching perigee on May 18 (its position closest to earth), the moon continues to wane, entering its final phase at 7:59 a.m. on May 21. It darkens through the rest of the month, becoming the Cherry Pie Moon at 1:40 p.m. on May 28. Rising after midnight and setting before dark, this moon will be overhead near dawn (the best position for fishing). As the barometer falls in

May 2014 the valley new online  
May 2014 the valley new online  

The Valley is a FREE monthly newspaper serving Mifflin and surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.