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Poor Will's Almanack: October 12 - 18, 2021

via Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the second week of Middle Fall, the second week of the Frog and Toad Migration Moon, the fourth week of the sun in Libra

I went out into the woods and fields this morning: Small cups of gossamer were shining with dew, hanging to the tips of the dry wingstem. In the mist, the grass was yellowing, and the woods appeared like it does in April, bright orange leaves like new flowers.

Seeds were sprouting in rotten tree stumps, the sweet smell of autumn all around me. The low sun rested in the treetops. The silver winding river, the fallen logs invisible in summer, lay below me.

I saw a small flock of robins at the riverbank, and then further upstream, the trees were full of robins.

Fat green Osage fruit lay all over the ground. In one dark patch of ironweed stalks, a few blue tall bellflowers were blooming; off to the side, parsnips were flowering, and some red clover and small white asters. In the bottomland, poison hemlock was growing back, with chickweed and sedum. A peppercress plant was blossoming as though spring were going to arrive in a few weeks.

Blackbirds and starlings passed over the woods heading southwest before lunch. One monarch butterfly came by early in the afternoon, sailed over my head, the sun shining through its wings. A few loud, slow katydids sang tonight, maybe their last songs of the year.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Middle Fall. In the meantime, walk out in the dark and listen for the last of this year's insect chorus, high buzzing tree crickets, chirping field crickets and maybe even katydids.

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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.