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Poor Will's Almanack: November 2 - November 9

De Hoge Veluwe National Park
Julie Jablonski
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Late Fall, the first week of the Deer Rutting Moon, the second full week of the Sun in autumn’s Scorpio

As the leaves come down, one of the best ways to fight the end-of-autumn doldrums is to shorten winter. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to plant a pussy willow shrub, which will provide a reliable gauge of spring’s advance as its catkins gradually open with each thaw of January and February.

As for the flowers of early spring, you can have as many before April as you care to plant in October or November.

Snowdrops will bring life to the brown earth as early as the first week in February in the warmest years.

Aconites will add bright yellow to your early garden. They emerge with the snowdrops, gangly like birds just out of the egg, looking to the ground. Then as they mature, their flowers face up to the sun.

Snow crocus are the most flamboyant of the late-winter flowers, coming in a week or two before their larger crocus cousins, bringing lavender and yellow and gold to the cloudy afternoons.

Then come early hyacinths and jonquils in the last week of the month. Those later flowers start another season called middle spring, the time of year during which everything blooms at once, and nature doesn't seem to need your help at all.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of Late Fall. In the meantime, it's time to get ready for spring!

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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.