The Valley, May 2014 advance of cool fronts expected on May 24 and 29, early morning angling could be even more productive, but many people will feel out of sorts with the change in barometric pressure. Lunar position in Pisces between May 21 and 23 and in Taurus between May 25 and 28 augur well for the planting of all the rest of your summer seeds and for putting in shrubs and trees. Weather Trends The final week of May is typically a wet one, with completely overcast conditions more common than during any other time of the month. In the period between the 25th and 27th, rain falls between 50 and 60 percent of the time, with the 29th being one of the rainiest days in the whole year – bringing precipitation 70 percent of the days on record. Average temperature distribution for this time of the month is as follows: five percent chance for highs in the 90s, 30 percent for 80s, 30 percent for 70s, 25 percent for 60s, and ten percent for 50s. The brightest days of the week are usually the 27th and 30th, both having an 70 percent chance for sunshine. The darkest day is the 25th, which has only a 50 percent chance for a break in the clouds. FROSTWATCH Between May first and June first, only a few mornings of light frost occur at lower elevations along the 40th Parallel. Chances for freezing temperatures after the dates listed below are: May l: 45 percent May 5: 35 percent May 10: 25 percent May 15: 15 percent May 25 5 percent May 31: 2 percent The May Daybook May 1: Mock orange, locusts, wild cherry trees, yellow poplars (tulip trees), Kousa dogwoods and peonies join the early iris, sweet Williams, climbing roses and rhododendrons. May 2: Venus will move retrograde into Pisces throughout the month, keeping its position as the morning star. Mars remains in Virgo, visible in the south well after dark. Jupiter stays in Gemini as the evening star throughout May, following Orion into the sunset. May 3: The leaves of the understory reach full size, and the high canopy starts to fill in above it. Redbuds cede to crab apples and then to dogwoods, then to honeysuckles and azaleas and rhododendrons. In most years,
the great dandelion bloom ends in lawns and roadsides while garlic mustard and sweet rockets dominate the woods and fields. May 4: Geraniums, sedum, tall buttercups, ragwort, Jacob’s ladder, water cress, fleabane, spring cress, sweet rocket, catchweed, sweet Cicely are all in full bloom. Small flowered buttercup flowers are fading, its seed burs forming. May 5: After midnight, the Eta Aquarid meteor shower brings between ten and 40 shooting stars a minute through Aquarius. May 6: Redbuds get seedpods; scarlet pimpernel opens below them. Clustered snakeroot season starts in the new shade. Eastern wood pewees arrive. Northern spring field crickets hatch in milder years. May 7: At least a third of the region’s goslings have been born. They will have all emerged by the end of the month. May 8: Fledgling grackles, sparrows and cardinals are leaving their nests and are begging for food in the honeysuckles. Goslings and ducklings swim the rivers. Lake carp and pond koi are mating. Insects increase in number. The high canopy suddenly fills in. Flowering locust trees join mock orange, honeysuckle and late lilacs to create the most fragrant time of the throughout the central portion of the United States. May 9: Saturn travels with Libra into the far west at dawn until tomorrow. After the 10th, it is visible in the evening, rising in the east and moving along the southern horizon. May 10: Pollen from flowering trees usually peaks about May 10, but trees continue to be the major source of pollen in the air until grass pollen replaces it in the third week of the month. May 11: Under the closing canopy, spring’s garlic mustard, chickweed and catchweed die back, their yellow foliage accentuating a major decline of middle spring growth. May 12: Bullfrogs call all along the rivers. Catfish, bullheads, northern pike, bluegills, largemouth and smallmouth bass, white bass, spotted bass, striped bass, and crappies spawn when the water temperature reaches 65 degrees. May 13: All the clovers come into bloom, along with the small black medic, purple vetch, and the weedy yellow and white sweet clover, in all but the northernmost states. When the clovers bloom, flea season begins for dogs, cats, goats, cattle, horses and sheep. May 14: Ragweed has grown
two feet tall, crickets sing, and cow vetch, wild parsnips, poison hemlock, angelica, motherwort, wild roses, locusts, blackberries and yarrow flower. The last of the leaves come out for summer. May 15: Then when azaleas lose their petals, daisies and the first clematis and the first cinquefoil open all the way, the first strawberry ripens, and the first swallowtail butterflies visit the star of Bethlehem and bleeding hearts. The last quince flowers fall, and lilacs decay. May 16: Multiflora roses and wild raspberries are budding. Black walnuts and oaks become the major sources of pollen. Deep red ginger has replaced the toad trillium close to the ground, around the fingers of white sedum. May 17: Cedar waxwings migrate up the rivers as the last buckeye flowers fall. Half the goslings are bigger than galoshes. When the first firefly glows in the lawn, flea beetles come feeding in the vegetable garden. May 18: The moon’s position today (powerful perigee closest to Earth) increases the likelihood of turbulent weather. Livestock may be more restless, children more obstreperous and the infirm more uncomfortable. May 19: The second-last week of late spring is honeysuckle week, and, of course, all the honeysuckles blossom. Pink and violet sweet rockets and the ubiquitous fleabane reach full bloom, too. Locusts and wild cherries are in flower. Daisies, columbines, lupines, scarlet pyrethrums and orange poppies take over the dooryards. May 20: The first shiny blue damselflies emerge. White spotted skippers and red admiral butterflies visit the garden. Goldcollared black flies swarm in the pastures. Leafhoppers look for corn. Scorpion flies make their appearance in the barnyard. May 21: Daddy longlegs are all over the undergrowth, partial to clustered snakeroot and its pollen. Bright green six-spotted tiger beetles race along the maze of deer paths in parks and woodlots. May 22: Grasshoppers come to the fields. Northern Spring Field Crickets, the first crickets of the year to sing, are singing. Baby robins are out of the nest. The antlers of bucks are a third grown. Reckless adolescent groundhogs wander the roadsides. May 23: Wood hyacinths and spring beauties disappear during Honeysuckle Week. Violets stop blooming until autumn. Dogwood petals are taken down by the rain and wind.
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May 24:. Rhododendrons open after azalea petals fall. May 25: Some Canadian thistles are budding. Wild strawberries climb though the purple ivy and the sticky catchweed. Blue-eyed grass is open. Wild iris blooms in the wetlands. White clover blossoms in the lawn. May 26: Multiflora roses, spirea, boxwood and yellow poplars are ready to bloom. Evergreens have four to six inches of new growth. Sycamore and ginkgo leaves are half size, and the rest of the maples fill in. May 27: The last of the lilacs turn brown. Hydrangea snowballs lose their luster. Sweet cicely goes to seed Spring phlox are getting old. Ragwort flowers turn to fluffy seed heads. Watercress falls over in the sun. The last tulips and latest daffodils are gone. May 28: Catalpa and wild cherry trees are flowering. The earliest fireflies come out tonight. May 29: It’s pruning time, after flowering, for forsythia, quince, mock orange, and lilac. Pollen from grasses reaches its peak in the central portions of the United States, as bluegrass, orchard grass, timothy, red top and Bermuda grass all continue to flower. In the northern forests, pines, spruce, hemlock, arbor vitae, alders, and birch reach the height of their blossoming. May 30: After locust trees are done flowering, then snow-onthe-mountain blossoms and sweet Williams, clematis, and spiderwort open. White spotted skippers and red admiral butterflies visit the garden. May 31: Gold-collared black flies swarm in the pastures. Leafhoppers look for corn. Scorpion flies make their appearance in the barnyard. In the Field and Garden May 1: While the moon is still relatively dark, fight armyworms and corn borers. Attack carpenter bees around the barn. May 2: The dark moon also favors traditional worm control methods such as liming the pasture, planting garlic, and plowing in mustard. May 3: Plan to have all your corn and soybeans planted by the time the first thistles bloom. May 4: As conditions permit, sow seeds for forages that will provide as close to year-round grazing as possible: tall fescue, ryegrass, wheat, oats and rape for early spring; Kentucky bluegrass and orchard grass for spring and fall; bromegrass and timothy for early summer; birdsfoot trefoil, bahiagrass, Bermuda grass, Sudan
grass, crabgrass and lespedeza for mid to late summer. Plan to seed turnips in July for late fall and early winter grazing. May 5: The first crop of alfalfa should be gaining a little more moisture as the crescent moon becomes a gibbous (fat) moon. Put in the last of the pickles, corn, soybeans, and hot-weather vegetables (like tomatoes, squash, eggplant and peppers) as the new moon waxes. May 6: Spring pasture now reaches its brightest green of the year, and haying is underway in the southern states. The cutting will move towards the Canadian border at the rate of about one hundred miles a week, and it will be taking place almost everywhere by the middle of June. May 7: Major planting of peppers, cantaloupes and cucumbers is taking place when you see spitbugs hang to the parsnips. Canadian thistles are budding then, too. Weevils get into alfalfa. May 8: Spring rains and humidity can increase the risk of internal parasites in livestock. Consider using stool sample analysis to ensure that drenching has been effective. May 9: When mock orange, sweet Cicely, Robin’s fleabane, chives, catmint, waterleaf, wild raspberry, shooting star, peonies, sweet rockets, and May apples come into bloom, pastures may be just right to move all your livestock to pasture. May 10: It’s the center of corn, pepper, cantaloupe and cucumber planting, the quarter mark for soybean seeding, budding time for alfalfa and setting time for tobacco. May 11: Orchard grass is heading up in the North, and a little alfalfa is budding. This is the center of pepper, cantaloupe, and cucumber planting, and the quarter mark for soybean seeding. May 12: Migrant workers move north to help with setting plants. In the wood lots, eastern tent caterpillars are defoliating the cherry trees. Spittlebugs appear on pine trees, azalea mites on azaleas, cankerworms on elms and maples, lace bugs on the mountain ash. May 13: Commercial sunflower planting time begins as the chances for a light freeze fall well below five percent along the 40th Parallel. In the salt marshes of the South, fiddler crabs emerge from their tunnels in the creeks and estuaries. May 14: The mid-May cool front and the next two high-pressure systems are often followed by the
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Published on May 9, 2014