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Forecast: Summer 2015 17/06/2015

Posted by zoidion in forecast, Photography.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The yard, front and back, is amazingly lush, as usual in mid-June: the peak of our rainy season.

As I look up from my keyboard, my eyes are caught by the first white umbels on one of the two elderberry bushes, reminding me that berry time is not so far away. I can see the patch of bee balm that will soon turn a blaze of red. Indistinguishable are the two hazelnut seedlings that I acquired from Badgersett research station  a year ago on the solstice; when I check on them at ground level, they show some growth and healthy leaves, but I remember not to expect a great deal of growth in the second season. (The saying is: Sleep, creep, leap.)

It’s been catch-up time for garden work around here, since spending the week of the Full Moon as part of a work crew on wondrous Mallard Island in Rainy Lake. 

columbine-spider

It was a rather different situation there at the start of this year’s visiting season, after the lake lived up to its name in June last year: The shores of that narrow, rocky island were inundated, and the waters invaded one cabin, the kitchen building (the “wannigan”), and most of the gardens.

The previous week, one crew raised the wannigan by fourteen inches, leaving some finish carpentry and the task of filling the supporting cribs with rocks for the next bunch; another crew spent both weeks repairing many of the waterline stone walls.

None of my group were spring chickens, and I dare say we all felt stretched to our limits. On one occasion, I endeavored to de-grass a sizable patch of about-to-bloom irises–without stepping (or falling!) on said irises. I spent a couple of hours one day with a pair of loppers, cutting dead wild rose bushes down to their bases while wading through a patch of stinging nettles. (I left one dead bush alone: It contained a fairly fresh bird nest, no eggs — yet.) And I spent a couple of other work sessions inching my way down short slopes to cut dead juniper. There was always, somewhere, a small drowned bush calling to my blades. My shoulders kept screaming: Stop!

If I had any energy at all left after group dinner, I was typically too sore of hand and shoulder to feel like playing my fiddle, so several times I played dominoes with the group instead. Nobody seemed to have the will for the usual end-of-the-week soiree.

But on that last night before leaving, I put my camera on a tripod and sought a clear view of the western sky. It wasn’t easy to find, though once, my eyes were drawn down, to a bright patch in the inky water: It was the reflection of Venus! Both Venus and Jupiter were riding long arcs downward toward the horizon. And as I at last settled into what had been Ober’s bed, head to the south, I found I could tilt my head to the left and still see, through a gap in the tall white pine, the bright spot of Venus.

Ven-Jup_Mallard

Outline for the season in the upper Mississippi River basin: Summer 2015

A warm and dryer-than-average season overall is indicated, but it begins relatively cool; the most notable heat holds off until August and (especially) September: until after Mars enters fire sign Leo.

Lingering stormy conditions through several periods, with above-average winds, make for a somewhat gloomy summer. The last week of June through the first week of July, 22-23 and 29-30 August, and the days surrounding the autumn equinox (23 September) will likely see the most notable and problematic storms.

Primary chart indications: An early degree of fire sign Sagittarius on lower meridian, with Saturn in last degree of water sign Scorpio; earth sign Virgo rising, with lord Mercury conjunct upper meridian; Neptune in water sign Pisces conjunct western horizon; Venus conjunct Jupiter in fire sign Leo; Sun six days past conjunction with Mars.

Sun and Mars are in parallel of declination; Mercury and Venus are in very close parallel, and contra-parallel to Saturn.

Cancer Ingress 2015

Lunar Week by Lunar Week

First Quarter: 24 – 30 June
Warmth and humidity increasing; wet 22 June, persistent (possibly severe) storms 28-29 June.

Full Moon: 1 – 7 July (lunar perigee 5 July)
Storms continuing, becoming more energetic, then tapering off with abrupt wind shift 6-7 July.

Last Quarter: 8 – 15 July
Cooler, becoming dryer, windier.

New Moon: 16 – 23 July
General increase in thunderstorm activity, with some strong storms likely.

First Quarter: 24 – 30 July
Decreasing weather drama, though still notably windy.

Full (Blue) Moon: 31 July – 6 August (lunar perigee 2 August)
Distinct shift in weather regime, becoming dryer.

Last Quarter: 6 – 13 August
Warmer, dry, windy.

New Moon: 14 – 21 August
Somewhat cooler, dry.

First Quarter: 22 – 28 August
Severe storms likely 22 – 23 August, then a continuing showery pattern.

Full Moon: 29 August – 4 September (lunar perigee 30 August)
Major storms likely from Texas to the Great Lakes region around the Full Moon date, but especially heavy in the northern areas and Texas itself. The most notable period of the season.

Last Quarter: 5 – 12 September
Warmer with continuing turbulence.

New Moon (Solar Eclipse): 13 – 20 September
Late-season heat, dry.

First Quarter: 21 – 27 September
Notable heat with likely heavy storms bringing little moisture.

Be well. Stay aware.

-<zoidion>-

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