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Poor Will's Almanack: November 29 - December 5, 2022

Photo of Cerastium arvense in flower. This is a native plant growing wild in Great Falls Park, Fairfax county Virginia, USA. This species is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family. This population of plants, in the northern Piedmont along the Potomac river, has been identified as belonging to the subspecies Cerastium arvense L. ssp. velutinum. Recent studies have shown that they are not interfertile with the rest of Cerastium arvense, and would be better classified as a separate species, Cerastium velutinum.
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Poor Will’s Almanack for the final week of late fall, the second week of the Goose Gathering Moon, the second week of the Sun in Sagittarius.

Some years I am cheered because it seems winter will never come.

In the gardens of the warmest years, fresh rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme, oregano and fat chard can still be good for picking. The collars and kale are crisp and bright. Sometimes lettuce and spinach are still ready for salads.

Strawberry leaves are turning red and orange. Dry pumpkin-brown heads of marigolds quiver in the wind. Lamb’s ear is soft and velvety gray. Blush covers the wild geraniums.

Lamium purpureum, deadnettle is full of new growth and purple flowers. Dusky forsythia still blocks the street from view, and pink azalea leaves forecast their spring blossoms.

New chickweed grows under the rhododendrons, along with new clover, new dandelions. Ground ivy is deep summer green.

To one side of the woodpile, very late blue forget-me-nots keep their petals. Along the north hedge, orange euonymus berries push out from their white pods, and late honeysuckle berries hold on. Bright sweet William leaves, tawny leaves of the goosefoot, feathery achillea, and bright comfrey, dock and garlic mustard are all vigorous. Two deep yellow roses are surrounded by mint. Three pale violet sweet rocket flowers nestle against the old stone wall.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of Early Winter. In the meantime, if winter is late...it's all good.

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.