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Poor Will's Almanack: November 1 - 7, 2022

gingko leaves
Edsel Little

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Late Fall, the second week of the Robin Migration Moon, the third week of the Sun in Scorpio, the new season of Second Spring.

Leaf drop, even in the best of years, intensifies now that the sun reaches almost three-fourths of the way to winter solstice.

The bright yellow ginkgoes and the white mulberries typically collapse as the sun reaches deep into Scorpio. Autumn violets disapper. Asters and goldenrod darken and produce their seeds.

The insect chorus of Middle Fall is quiet, and that, along with the absence of bird calls defines the silence of Late Fall.

Into the growing vacuum of the season, however, a resurgence of pasture and wildflower foliage often occurs. Witch hazel, the last flowering bush of the year, is in bloom, and sometimes forsythia and even lilacs produce a second flowering. In the woods, colorful remnants of tattered foliage shine like spring blosoms on their empty brances. In homes, Christmas cacti may be budding, foretelling a new phase of the year.

This thin time between the last fragments of summer and the promises of spring sometimes lasts through the sun's residence in Scorpio then fades into the chillier weather and more barren landscape of the sun's next move to December's Sagittarius.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week off Late Fall. In the meantime, the days of the week ahead are truly a separate season. Look for their markers.

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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.