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Poor Will's Almanack: October 4 - 1O, 2022

Fall Leaves in Cleveland, Ohio
Jen Goellnitz

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Middle Fall, the second full week of the Blackbirds in the Cornfields Moon, the THIRD week of the Sun in Libra.

The Blackbirds in the Cornfields Moon waxes fat and gibbous throughout the week until it becomes completely full on Monday October 9. Rising in the evening and setting in the morning, this moon is overhead in the middle of the night, perfect for midnight expeditions.

Walking woods or fields as the moon comes up, you might see the tight cluster of Pleiades, as well as the Hyades (hy-ah-dees) of Taurus, well up on the eastern horizon , announcing autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Draconid Meteor Shower takes place between October 6 – 10. You might glimpse one or two of its shooting stars along the northern horizon in Draco. 

Under the daytime sun, goldenrod is seeding now, pods of the eastern burning bush are open, hawthorn berries redden, wild grapes are purple. Streaks of scarlet appear on the oaks, shades of pink on the dogwoods. Many shagbark hickories, tulip trees, sassafras, elms, locusts and sweet gums change to full yellow, merge with the swelling orange of the maples.

As the canopy thins above the garden, the tall sedums begin to relinquish their petals, and autumn crocuses die back. August’s jumpseeds are jumping, touch-me-nots popping at your touch. Thimble plants unraveling. The toothed leaves of beggarticks darken overnight.

Cabbage butterflies become more reckless now in their search for nectar. Aphids disappear in the chilly nights. Cicadas die. Japanese beetles complete their season. Daddy longlegs no longer hunt the undergrowth.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Middle Fall. In the meantime, take just a short walk outside, night or day, feel the autumn moving in.

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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.