01 June 2012


And after her came jolly June, array’d
All in green leaves, as he a player were;
Yet in his time he wrought as well as play’d,
That by his plough-irons mote right well appear.
Upon a crab he rode, that him did bare
With crooked crawling steps an uncouth pace,
And backward-yode, as bargemen wont to fare
Bending their force contrary to their face;
Like that ungracious crew which feigns demurest grace.

“June. The sixth month of the year in the modern or Gregorian calendar.  Ovid in the "Fasti" indicates that it was named after Juno, but a more likely etymon derives it from Juniores, the lower branch of the original Roman legislature, as that of May was from the higher branch. In the old Latin or Alban calendar the month of June had but twenty-six days.  Romulus gave it thirty. This was reduced to twenty-nine by Numa, and restored to thirty by Julius Caesar, a number it has ever since retained.”

“Among the old Romans June was a lucky as May was an unlucky month for marriages, the especially favorable seasons being at full moon and at the conjunction of the sun and moon." 
William Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs (1898) p. 591

Astronomy for June:

Summer solstice on the 20th at 1909 (7:09 pm) EDT. [your times may vary]

5 June (western hemisphere) or 6 June, (eastern hemisphere) – 

***** TRANSIT OF VENUS ***** 

The planet Venus can be seen cruising in front of the sun.  If you will be viewing it, WEAR EYE PROTECTION, same as you would for a solar eclipse.  See EarthSky for more information, including transit times for your area.  Check your local media to see if any planetariums or astronomy clubs are offering special programs explaining the importance of this event and providing viewing opportunities.  There are several such being offered in the Smallest State – your area should have a few as well.  

Ember Days
6/1  Weather today foretells the weather of August
6/2  Weather today foretells the weather of September

Weather for June:
According to the 12 Days of Christmas: Mostly sunny and warm.
According to the first 12 days of January: Sunny with some clouds, but warm.
According to the Ember Days: Warm and mostly cloudy

[Consensus is that June is going to be warm.  The corn should definitely be knee-high by the Fourth of July!]

Weather Lore for June:
A June damp and warm does the farmer no harm.

If June be sunny, harvest comes early.

A dry June means a good corn crop.

June that is dry more than it is wet fills the barrels with good wine.

Calm weather in June, sets corn in tune.

A cold and wet June spoils the rest of the year.
A good leak in June sets all in tune.
 A wet June makes a dry September.

When it is hottest in June, it will be coldest in the corresponding days of next February. [I don't even want to think about February yet]

Mist in May and heat in June,
Make the harvest come right soon.

Thunder in June means a good year for straw and hay.

“Thunder in June signifies that same year that woods shall be overthrown with winds, and great raging shall be of lions and wolves, and so like of other harmful beasts” [which is only natural if their domiciles have been overthrown with winds…] Book of Knowledge

6/1 - 3  If it rains in the first three days of June, there will be no wild grapes.

6/1    If St. Fortunatus’ day be fine, we may expect a fruitful season.

          If it rains on June 1st, there will be fifty-seven rains in June, July, and August.

6/2    If it rains on June 2nd, there will be no blackberries.

6/6    If it rains on June 6th, there will be no mast [nuts of forest trees, such as acorns, upon which hogs 'pastured' in the forests feed.]

        The rains that fall on St. Norbert’s day inundate the earth [i.e. expect the rains to be heavy]

6/8    If it rains on St. Médard's day, it will rain for forty days, unless it is dry on St. Barnabas [and then all bets are off]
         If it rains on St. Médard's day, there will be a wet harvest.
         If it rains on the day of Saint Médard, we will not have wine nor lard.

6/10  Corpus Christi clear
          Gives a good year.

         If it rains on St. Margaret’s day, it will rain for fourteen days.

6/11  If it rains on St. Barnabas' day, it is good for grapes
                      on the other hand
         St. Barnabas oftimes brings a tempest [which is not so good for grapes]

         The general character of the weather during the last twenty days of June will rule the weather for the Summer.

6/15   If St. Vitus Day be rainy weather, it will rain for thirty days together.
          If it rains on St. Vitus’ day, the year will be fruitful.
                            on the other hand
          When it rains on St. Vitus’ day, half of the grapes will be destroyed.
          When St. Vitus’ day is rainy, the oats will not thrive.

6/19    If it rains on the day of Saints Protais and Gervais, it will rain for forty days after.

6/20    As the wind and weather at the solstices, so will they be for the next three months.
           The first three days of any season rule the weather for that season.

6/23    If it rains on the eve of St. John’s day, the filberts (hazelnuts) will be spoiled.

6/24    If it rains today, we may expect a wet harvest.
           Midsummer rain spoils hay and grain.
           If it rains on St. John's Day, nuts will spoil and wicked women will thrive [how wicked?], but apples, pears, and plums will not be hurt.
            If it rains on St. John’s day, it will rain another four weeks, and we can expect a poor harvest.

6/26   Weather on the last Sunday of the month indicates the weather for the next month

6/27    If it rains on the 27th of June, it will rain for seven weeks.

6/28    If it rains on the eve of St. Peter, the vintage will be reduced by one-third.

6/29    If it rains on the day of Saints Peter and Paul it will rain for the next 30 days.
           It always rains on St. Peter’s day [so putting two and two together…]
                                  on the other hand
           If it is bright and clear on St. Paul’s day, we will have full mouths and full purses.

[Let us hope that it rains in between the above days (except for St. Fortunatus and St. Barnabas).  A good soak is one thing; drowning my seeds and new plants is quite another]

Gardening for June

June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hands with posies.

When St. Bamaby bright smiles night and day, (June 11)
Poor Ragged Robin blooms in the hay.
The scarlet Lychnis, the garden's pride,
Flames at St. John the Baptist's tide.  (June 24)

When the bramble blossoms early in June, an early harvest is expected.

6/11   On St. Barnabas’ day, it is time to cut your hay.

6/15   Sow cabbage on St. Vitus’ day.

6/17  Sow your Swedes today.

6/24  The best hay is made before midsummer
         St. John’s Day is considered a good time for sowing, and when the sun shines on his day, nuts will be abundant during the coming year [this being an election year, an abundance of nuts is a sure bet.]
         Cut your thistles before St. John, you will have two instead of one [so leave those thistles standing another day]
         If you lop a tree on St. John's day, it will wither [no pruning today]
         Up to St. John’s day, wine is fit only for peasants. [in other words, the wine of last year’s vintage is not good until after Midsummer.  Fine.  Along with the thistles and the pruning, leave last year’s vintage alone for another day.  Or be a peasant with me.]

Cassell’s Illustrated almanac 1871 for June:
Flowers.— Propagate verbenas, heliotropes, etc., by cutting.  A few annuals, such as Clarkia and Virginia stock may still be sown. Others should be thinned out from the border and potted for window-plants. Take up choice bulbs as soon as the foliage dies down. Tie up carnations, &c, and look after aphides, which may be kept under by dusting a little Scotch snuff upon them. The budding of roses may be performed towards the end of the month. The operation is not attended with much difficulty. A strong shoot should be selected for the bud, and a slit like the letter T should be made in the bark. Then take a full-grown bud, paring it off by a sharp knife, with a piece of the wood attached.  Trim this carefully, and insert the base of the bud in the top of the T-shaped slit, raising the bark a little at the sides to receive it. When the bud is inserted, close the bark down again, and bind over the whole with bast to exclude the air; sometimes a coating of clay is used for this purpose.
Vegetables.— Gather herbs for drying, and remove all kinds of decaying crops. Make your last sowing of beans and peas early in the month.
Plant out your young cabbage, &c., and make a good sowing of turnips, sprinkling young plants, when they come up, with soot or lime. 
Fruit. – Still look over vines, and cut away weak and useless growths. Keep strawberries well watered in very dry weather. Protect cherry trees, etc., from the ravages of black-fly, by dipping the points infested by it in a mixture of clayey soil and water, which will quickly dry in the sun, and may be washed off when the insects have perished.

From the 1817 Almanac:
Sow Broccoli the Beginning of this Month, for a second Crop.  Transplant Celery for Blanching.  Transplant Savoy and Cabbage Plants for Winter Use.  Sow Kidney-Beans and brown Dutch Cabbage Lettuce for a late Crop.
Gather such Herbs for drying as are now in Flower, and let them dry leisurely in a shady Place, and not in the Sun.  Sow all Sorts of small Sallad Herbs every three or four Days.  Keep your Garden free from all Sorts of Weeds, for they spoil whatever Plants they are near.  Weed your corn, and sow Rape, cole-seed, and Turnip-seed.

Health for June:
Cooling Sallads, as Lettuce, Sorrel, Purslane, &c. will prevent too great a Perspiration, and throw off feverish Disorders.

June. Engraving by William Hone.  The Everyday Book and Table Book, (1838) p. 737.
June – Cutting Wood. Engraving based on an 11th century manuscript. William Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs (1898) p. 591