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Poor Will's Almanack: September 28 – October 4, 2021

milkweed pod
Dan Neumann
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the final week of Early Fall, the final week of the Hickory, Black Walnut and Pecan Nutting Moon, the second week of the sun in Libra.

The Hickory, Black Walnut and Pecan Nutting Moon, entering its final quarter on September 28, wanes throughout the period, becoming the new Traveling Toad and Frog Moon on October 6 and approaches perigee, its most powerful position closest to Earth..

Rising before dawn and setting in the evening, this Moon passes overhead in the middle of the day, encouraging toads and frogs to consider finding a safe place for winter.

The Orionid meteors fall through Orion every night after midnight under this dark moon. Best viewing should occur before dawn during the first weeks of the month while the crescent moon is still a sliver of light in the sky.

Below the daytime stars, Spicebush is yellowing as box elder trees are shedding. The toothed leaves of beggar ticks darken overnight.

Pods of the Eastern burning bush are opening; hawthorn berries redden; wild grapes are purple.

Milkweed pods burst in windy, rainy afternoons

Streaks of scarlet have appeared on the oaks, shades of pink on the dogwoods. Leaves have turned yellow on most of the soybeans; they blend right in with the full-blooming goldenrod.

The coming radical changes in the foliage, the disappearance of flowers, the morning chill and the lengthening night all combine with the darkening moon moving closer to Earth to open the door to Middle Fall.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of Middle Fall. In the meantime, be good to yourself as the powerful dark moon moves closer to Earth.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.