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Poor Will's Almanack: September 6 - 12, 2022

Starling and the moon.
Kennet Kjell Johansson Hultman
Starling and the moon.

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Early Fall, the third week of the Starling Murmuration Moon, the third week of the Sun in Virgo.

The Starling Murmuration Moon becomes completely full on Saturday, September 10. Rising in the evening and setting in the morning, this powerful gibbous moon passes overhead in the middle of the night.

Throughout September evenings, the Big Dipper lies close to the northern horizon. Perseus, a monster slayer in Greek mythology, rises out the east, and Hercules, another Greek hero, fills the western sky.

The mid-September cool front arrives at the time when the average amount of daily sunshine begins to fall more quickly, accelerating your livestock’s sensitivity (and yours too) to the shortening days. And, this year, full moon on the 10th, close to perigee on the 7th, creates a recipe for the chilliest nights of the fall.

Such mornings sometimes offer a hint of wood smoke in the air, and the warmer afternoons bring a faint bittersweet smell of fallen fruits and decaying leaves. In the woodlots, nettle has gone to seed. Hickory nuts are down, and squirrels are collecting black walnuts. Goldenrod is peaking. The large, violet New England asters are coming in, along with a variety of small-flowered asters.

Still committed to summer. Crickets and katydids sing throughout the nights.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Early Fall. In the meantime, stand for a quiet moment in the morning or evening: see if you can notice a change in smell of the air, the new scents of early autumn.

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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.