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Poor Will's Almanack: November 22 - 28, 2022


The fourth week of Late Fall, the first week of the Goose Gathering Moon (when geese gather for winter fellowship and pairing), the first week of the Sun in Sagittarius.

The inventory of the neighborhood year rests on a count of the remaining leaves on trees or plants, the subtlety of the last colors, the coming apart of seed heads, the disappearance of berries.

Late Fall deepens with rust overtaking most of the beech trees; red and gold are spreading through the pear trees. Osage fruits, like big green softballs, are all on the ground, stand out at random, in the tangle of the undergrowth.

Cypress trees have thinned, their branches a delicate web against the sky. Pink coralberries glow in the hedges. Bittersweet berries crack and reveal their softer orange cores.

There are red berries on the flowering crabs, on the dogwoods, and on the hawthorns, on the bayberry, red hips on the roses.

In homes, Christmas cacti are blossoming. Paperwhite and amaryllis bulbs send up their foliage

In the woods, new leafcup foliage is a foot tall now beside lush sweet rocket and hemlock, sweet Cicely, chickweed, waterleaf, cinquefoil, violet cress, parsnip, avens and next September’s zigzag goldenrod grow back in a defiant show of Second Spring against the coming cold.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the final week of Late Fall. In the meantime, find the colors of Late Fall in berries and new growth. Or buy a Christmas cactus. 

Poor Will's Almanack for 2023 as well as my new book of essays, The Virgin Point: Meditations in Nature, are now, available on Amazon or from www.PoorWillsAlmanack.com.

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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.